Talk 'awe-inspiring' for students

PUBLISHED: 12:28 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 11 May 2010

EVA CLARKE with students at Melbourn Village College

EVA CLARKE with students at Melbourn Village College

A HISTORY lesson with a difference was given to students at Melbourn Village College, when they were visited by a survivor of the holocaust. Eva Clarke, who works for the Holocaust Survivors Trust, visited the college to talk to Year 9 pupils about her li

A HISTORY lesson with a difference was given to students at Melbourn Village College, when they were visited by a survivor of the holocaust.

Eva Clarke, who works for the Holocaust Survivors Trust, visited the college to talk to Year 9 pupils about her life and the history of her family.

She said: "I feel it's my duty to tell people about my experiences, and I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to do so.

"You get some interesting questions, particularly if the children have prepared well beforehand.

"I certainly like to think they get more out of listening to a personal story rather than the experience of millions."

Eva was born in the Mauthausen concentration camp just three days before American troops liberated the camp. She and her mother Anna were the only members of her family to survive.

After the war she moved to Prague with her mother, who was Czechoslovakian, before emigrating to the UK.

Since retiring, she has been carrying out work on behalf of four charities, including the Holocaust Survivors Trust.

"My mother lived in the camps for three-and-a-half years, and my father died in one. If it hadn't been for the soldiers arriving so soon after I was born, we might not have survived," she said.

George Torbutt, head of history at Melbourn Village College, organised the visit. He said: "We always find visits like this have a massive impact on the students.

"We've been looking at the holocaust throughout this term, and have looked at the art that came out of the camps, as well as films such as Schindlers List.

"Eva's visit is an excellent way to round off the topic."

Year-nine pupil Jade Harley-Smith, 14, said: "I think it's easy to just think about the holocaust as a school subject, but this visit made me appreciate that it actually did happen.

"Eva's talk was really awe-inspiring.

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