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Cardiff pupils remember Holocaust victims in Victoria Park ceremony

A poem about Hedy Klein by ten year old Emilie.

A poem about Hedy Klein by 10-year-old Emilie.

CARDIFF pupils are inviting the public to join them at a ceremony for Holocaust victims in Victoria Park tomorrow.

Year Six pupils and teachers from Lansdowne Primary School will be hosting the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in the park bandstand on Wednesday January 27 at 2pm.

During the ceremony, there will be singing, a poetry recital and a minute’s silence.

Headteacher Louisa Monro-Morris and Year Six teachers, Bruce McInnes and Heather Latchan will be at ceremony with the 60 children. Three of the children will read their poems written about Hedy Klein, a Jewish concentration camp survivor,  after learning about her last year.

The pupils also read The Boy in Striped Pyjamas and were taught about the humanitarian Nicholas Winton and poet Pastor Martin Neimoller.

Mr McInnes said the theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day – Don’t Stand By – inspired him to organise the event.

“This kind of insidious persecution can only take place because people don’t stand up and say its wrong and that’s important for kids to understand,” he said.

“These days there’s a lot of mistrust of anyone who’s different and we teach the children that just because someone is different it is not a reason to hate them.

“I think that it’s still a relevant message in our communities as there are groups of people who could find themselves targeted because of difference.”

Neimoller’s poem “First they came for the Socialists” was particularly well received by the pupils, according to Mr McInnes.

“The kids understood it immediately. They felt very strongly that lessons hadn’t been learnt from the Holocaust – especially as we taught them about post-war genocides in Cambodia and now Sudan,” he said.

“I want the public to join our ceremony as it’s an important day for us to come together as a community with the message that we stand together in Canton and Cardiff.”

This is the first year Lansdowne Primary School has been involved with the memorial day and Mr McInnes hopes it will become an annual event.

In the future, Mr McInnes said it might be possible to bring people into the school for Holocaust testimony.

One of the poems being read at the ceremony was by 10-year-old pupil, Emilie.

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