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Holocaust survivor shares story

The horrors of genocide were brought to life for a new generation as a survivor of a Nazi death camp shared her harrowing story with students.

Joanna Millan captivated students at The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, for two hours relating her life story, from being a toddler in Berlin to her battle for survival in the Czech concentration camp of Theresienstadt.

King’s Academy students study the Holocaust as part of their Year 9 history course.

The 70-year-old, who was liberated and flown to the safety of Cumbria when she was just three, said:

I talk about this as a living memorial to my family who were all killed because as the years go by history can be distorted.

I arrived in England in the middle of the night with absolutely nothing; no parents or family, no pictures, no clothing, no possessions. No one told me I had been liberated and leaving the camps was generally bad news as no one ever came back.”

Over the years Joanna has researched the Nazi archive to find out what happened to her family.

holocaust tallShe told the students how Jewish people lost all their rights as citizens and possessions, were murdered or packed on to trains for deportation to death camps. In total 11 million died, six million of whom were Jewish.

Her grandmother and father died in Auschwitz. “The death camps were factories with directors and accountants; the raw materials were human bodies and the money they made financed the war,” she told them.

Joanna and her mother were sent to Theresienstadt. Her mother died, and Joanna and five other orphans fought to survive, packed 36 to a bunk with little food and wracked by disease.

She was one of fewer than 100 children to survive from 15,000 children who entered the camp and now speaks all over the world about her experiences.

History teacher Phil Scarr said:

Sessions like this are about making history human, real and relevant to today, rather than just studying textbooks. Our students responded really well and asked some very thought provoking questions.”

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Students take on staff in tug of war

STAFF have being making their presence felt with a hat-trick performance in an annual tug of war.

tug2Experience triumphed over youthful exuberance in the after-school competition at The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, which has become a firm favourite with staff and students.

For the third year running, staff defeated sixth formers in the yearly trial of strength.

A best of three ends contest saw staff take the first two legs in an emphatic display of power and endurance.

Biology teacher Nikki Uhure said:

Having a bit of fun outside of the classroom is an important element in developing the unique atmosphere enjoyed at the The King’s Academy.

The sixth formers put up a good fight but were again no match for the experience and honed technique of a worthy staff team.”