Erika’s Story – Trafford Holocaust Memorial Day
On Monday 30th January 2017, 13 Year 9 pupils took part in Trafford’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations. These pupils had been rehearsing for about a month with Miss Foster and Mr Gerschler to retell Erika’s Story.
Erika’s Story is one woman’s account of the tragedy of the Holocaust. Erika is a survivor who recalls the difficult decisions her parents had to make and how those decisions have affected her life. Erika was saved from the Holocaust by her parents; as a baby she was thrown from a train on the way to a Concentration Camp. Erika was then adopted and raised by a German woman. The story is one of hope but also one which really helps you to empathise with the decisions made by some Jewish people to survive persecution in Nazi occupied Europe. Although Erika survived, she was raised not truly knowing her identity and feeling a sense of isolation shared by many survivors of persecution and genocide. Erika survived due to the compassion, kindness and love of total strangers and, as the theme of this year’s HMD event was ‘How can life go on?’, we thought the retelling Erika’s Story fitted this theme perfectly.
The event itself was moving and inspirational, full of messages of tolerance and understanding that are vitally important in today’s current political climate. We heard from 3 pupils from Lostock College, all recent migrants and refugees to the UK, and they explained how much they have appreciated the welcome and support the have received from their local communities. We heard poetry from BTH, readings from Stretford High School and an account of a visit to Auschwitz from Sale Grammar.
Wellington’s performance of Erika’s Story was incredible. Staff from other schools were moved to tears, members of the public were full of praise (some saying that they have attended the event since its creation and Erika’s Story was the most moving production they had seen!) and even the Mayor or Trafford gave us a big well done. A huge thank you to all pupils listed below and to Miss Foster with her efforts and enthusiasm in helping to organise the production. Considering this was the first attempt at a production and, for some, a first attempt at performing they were a real credit to the school. I’m sure they will have a long and successful future in Drama!
Here is a link to Erika’s Story
Narrators x 2: Caitlin Maguire / Aimee Linney
Adult Erika: Emma Tanner
Erika’s Parents: Jack Deighton-Brown / Ella Barnacle
Erika’s Adoptive Mother: Lucy Allan
Erika’s Husband: Cameron Armitage