The Lake District Holocaust Project provides workshops in schools throughout the area.
Produced and managed by Another Space, an education charity based in Cumbria, the LDHP has progressed enormously since it began in 2005. The project has evolved to provide a hugely important and significant contribution to the historical and cultural sphere in the Lake District and especially in the field of Holocaust education. Its work in Cumbria, northwest England and nationally is unique. It holds a comprehensive archive of documents, photographs and oral history testimonies that tell both the story of the arrival of the Jewish children and also of the community who welcomed them.
It is uniquely successful in ensuring that the teaching of the Holocaust remains relevant to people young and old, be they in schools, community centres, social spaces or visitors to the Lake District. The work of the LDHP seeks to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are taught at the heart of the community and applies the lessons to everyday situations.
It develops projects locally, nationally and internationally that focus on tolerance, inclusion and understanding between individuals and cultures.
We were delighted to welcome a further visit by this year’s Furness Academy Year 8 students to the exhibition at LDHP, Windermere in early February. The students were also given the opportunity to study a recently donated copy of the registration form for Alfred Huberman when he arrived at the Calgarth Estate in 1945.
Comments made after the last visit by Furness Academy Year 8 students to both the exhibition and the former sites of Calgarth Estate and the Sunderland Flying Boat Factory, illustrated how important this was to them:
“I am writing to inform you how grateful I am for you providing such an experience in Windermere. The best part was actually the whole thing. I learned loads! Honestly it was the best trip by far. I personally think that everyone should go on it no matter what age….”
“We would like to thank you both for the tour around Windermere Library and around Lakes School. The fact that it was free was amazing! And we appreciated that you took time out of your busy day. There were just so many memorable moments I cannot choose!”
Important links with the child Holocaust Survivors and the Second Generation are expanded to offer a vital, inspirational and ongoing success story of how a group of young people triumphed over unimaginable adversity.
Crucially, between 2006 and 2014 over 3500 children have heard a Holocaust Survivor at first hand during Holocaust Study Days and talks in schools in Cumbria and north Lancashire.
The following is a short excerpt from a film made at The Lakes School where Mayer Hersh talked about his story to older children.
And in this clip, Mayer is talking about how he was made to feel welcome in this country. Jack Aizenberg, another Survivor, is seated to his left.
Another Holocaust Survivor, Arek Hersh, also visited The Lakes School and in this clip he reminisces about his stay at Windermere in August 1945.
Films by Rosemary Smith
Ongoing children’s arts projects include the visual arts, music and writing and including:
“The Paradise Project” involved 400 children from South Lakeland and Poland who produced paintings on canvas to celebrate the connection between the Lakes and 300 Holocaust Survivors. They painted their version of ‘Paradise’ in response to the very same description used by the child Survivors on their arrival in the Lakes in 1945.
This is a photograph of art worker Nicki Smith working with primary level children. Nicki is one of a network of providers who introduce school children to the story of the Jewish children and introduce the students to concepts such as the importance of tolerance, inclusion and mutual respect.
“The Paradise Route” involved children from three primary schools in South Lakeland who created artworks as gifts for each other and were inspired by the tolerance, understanding and empathy of the child Survivors.
The “Butterfly Suite” concert took place in July 2013 in the grounds of the Lake District Holocaust Project and Windermere Library.
The project was led by MusicLinks, together with the new Music Hub and facilitated by LDHP. Special thanks to the Director of MusicLinks, Andy Halsey.
Participants from local schools and schools for those with special educational needs performed improvised pieces, newly composed songs and solo performances. Thanks also to Yosef and Ahsha Oxenhandler for performing.
The preceding workshops took place at the following schools: Sandgate, The Lakes, Whinfell, St. Cuthberts, and St Oswalds, and they explored both the story behind the symbol of the Butterfly, namely the drawings made by children and found at the Madjenek Concentration Camp and the stories of the Survivors. The focus of the workshops concentrated on composition, learning soundscapes, poetry and song together with development of artworks such as butterflies and banners from workshops with Nicki Smith.
This was a wonderful opportunity for the children to perform before an audience. They displayed a much deserved sense of achievement, both when performing as soloists and as playing and singing as part of an ensemble and they “inspired a sense of wonder and happiness”.
The following piece was compiled from a recording by St Cuthberts, Sandgate and St Oswalds Primary Schools
This poem was performed by children from St Oswalds Primary School
A final excerpt from a jamming session at Whinfell School
Photographs were taken on site by Rosemary Smith
An Exhibition “Champion of the Child – Janusz Korczak” displayed banners giving details of Janusz Korczak’s extraordinary life and legacy.
Korczak was a Polish Jewish Educator (1989-1942). He devoted his life to the needs and plight of children regardless of nationality and religion, even to the point of refusing to abandon his Jewish orphans when they were taken to Warsaw Ghetto and then to the death camps of Treblinka in 1942. He refused to desert them so that even as they died the children would be able to maintain their trust in him.
He wrote passionately about the subject of children’s rights and his ideas were adopted by the UN in the Children’s Human Rights Declaration of 1959.