Pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe recently received a visit from Lady Milena Grenfell Baines, one of the 700 children saved from the Nazis and death by Nicholas Winton.
Lady Milena Grenfell Baines described the horrific time of the Holocaust and the terrible events which she and her sister endured. She explained the heroic role played by Sir Nicholas Winton, a unique and courageous figure, and his remarkable rescue mission.
Sir Nicholas Winton, called ‘Britain’s Schindler’ by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the brains behind the Czech Kindertransport that saved 669 children in the first six months of 1939. A stockbroker of German-Jewish heritage, he refused to stand by when he saw the injustice happening and not only spoke out but helped to save the lives of hundreds of children.
“It was very emotional,” said one Year 9 pupil. “She went through so much. In the blink of an eye her life was turned upside-down. It makes you realise how lucky we are.”
Ms Ursula Gallagher, Head of Humanities, at Saint Paul’s said, “It was a privilege for us to welcome Lady Milena to our school and her testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced. We are grateful to her and appreciate her courage in speaking so openly about the events; it will especially encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”
“There can be no better way for our pupils to gain a full understanding of the dangers of discrimination and prejudice, than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor of the Nazi atrocities. Lady Milena’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and, by hearing her testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.”
“This event provided our students with a once in a lifetime chance to hear first-hand the testimony of a survivor of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust,” commented Mr Wiktor Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “It is vital that we take the time to reflect on the past and remember those who have suffered such terrible injustice. This visit had a powerful impact on our pupils and the lessons the students have learned from this will undoubtedly enable them to be better citizens both now and in the future.”