09:44AM, Friday 26 May 2017
Jessica Wiblin presents Zigi Shipper with a bouquet.
A ‘deeply moving’ speaker told pupils about his experience of the Holocaust.
Zigi Shipper, an Auschwitz survivor, visited Holyport College on Friday as part of the school’s Sir Nicholas Winton Day.
The pupils at the school, in Ascot Road, were transfixed by Zigi’s first-person account of his life which began in January 1930 when he was born to a Jewish family in Poland.
He was working in a metal factory in 1944 when he was rounded up and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
After surviving because he was fit enough for work he was sent to Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig where he worked on a railway.
He became seriously ill but on May 3, 1945 Zigi and his friends were liberated.
Extraordinarily, after thinking his mother had been dead for 11 years he was reunited with her in Britain in 1947 but told the pupils he felt lost without his friends.
He went into tailoring and said he felt he ‘found his family’ when he visited a club for Holocaust survivors in Belsize Park.
Finishing the talk, he told the year nine pupils: “I love what I am doing. I feel it is so important because after all you are the future, there might be a prime minister among you.
“I beg of you, whatever you do, do not hate. Hate will ruin your life.”
Headteacher Walter Boyle said it is important for the pupils to be ‘confronted by the reality’ of the Holocaust.
“I think they were deeply moved and affected by it,” he added.
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