Students’ first hand account of Holocaust

Holocaust survivor Harry Bibring after his talk to A-level History students at St John Rigby College
Holocaust survivor Harry Bibring after his talk to A-level History students at St John Rigby College

A HOLOCAUST survivor has given a personal account of one of the world’s worst atrocities to Wigan teenagers.

More than 80 St John Rigby pupils listened to 87-year-old Harry Bibring as part of a visit co-ordinated through the Holocaust Educational Trust which aims to educate young people about the Nazi purge of millions of Jews and other races before and during World War Two.

The testimony was followed by a question and answer session which enabled students to better understand the nature of The Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth.

Harry and his sister managed to flee to England in 1942 after his mother had been deported to the death camp at Sobibor in Poland, his father had previously died of a heart attack in 1940.

In May 1945 Harry met his wife-to-be Muriel and they married two years later.

He worked as a manufacturing engineer for 20 years and later became a lecturer at Middlesex University.

He has one son, Michael, and two grandchildren, Lee and Nikki.

College principal Peter McGee said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Harry Bibring to our school and his testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced.

“We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Harry’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, added: “The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor.

“Harry’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing his testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.

“At the Trust, we impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, to ensure that we honour the memory of those whose lives were lost and take forward the lessons taught by those who survived.”