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Brent schools encouraged by Holocaust Educational Trust to make ‘stories of Willesden Lane’ part of curriculum

PUBLISHED: 12:03 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:04 16 March 2018

Wembley schools with copies of The Children of Willesden Lane as part of a Holocaust Educational Trust project. Photo by Holocaust Educational Trust

Wembley schools with copies of The Children of Willesden Lane as part of a Holocaust Educational Trust project. Photo by Holocaust Educational Trust

Archant

Schools are being encouraged to make “stories from Willesden Lane” part of its curriculum.

The Holocaust Educational Trust project is based on The Children of Willesden Lane, a 2004 book that tells the story of Lisa Jura who was brought to a hostel in Brent on the Kindertransport.

The Kindertransport – German for “children’s transport” – was an organised rescue effort that took place during the nine months prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. The UK took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig.

Last week Mona Golabek – mother of the story’s protagonist and the book’s author – spoke to kids at Wembley’s Oakington Manor and Noam Primary School about Britain’s response to the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust.

Mona said: “I have a huge educational mission to inspire and impact young people everywhere through the book and show.

“I shall cherish those incredible students in Willesden Green - they confirmed for me, why we all devote ourselves to the work that we do.

“This is where the story belongs, so to bring it to these students is a dream come true.”

The trust is urging schools to make the project part of their curriculum in 2018 – during the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport programme – to encourage wider reflection on the story of the 10,000 Jewish children whose lives were saved thanks to their safe passage to the UK.

Trust chief exec Karen Pollock said: “We are excited to offer so many schools in London the chance to inspire their students with Stories from Willesden Lane. It is a thought-provoking and deeply emotive way to educate the next generation about the significance of the Kindertransport to Britain, and will help equip students with the knowledge they need to ensure the memory of the Holocaust continues.”

The trust is also encouraging schools to tune into a live webcast in May where students will hear the testimony of a Kindertransport refugee who rebuilt their life in London.

“We have all heard stories about the Holocaust but there is nothing like hearing from those who came to Britain on the Kindertransport, in their own words. This is why we want to give students the chance to hear these stories first hand,” Ms Pollock added.

“Our job is to educate, raise awareness and remember. The Kindertransport is part of our history and we hope that by understanding one girl’s story, students will draw relevance for their own lives and the world we live in today.”

For more information and to
be a part of the Stories from Willesden Lane project, visit
het.org.uk/willesdenlane.

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