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Holocaust survivor speaks to students on tolerance

Zigi Shipper is pictured with Sibford pupils Francesca Holland, Alex Dillon, Megan Penney and Conor Taylor

Zigi Shipper is pictured with Sibford pupils Francesca Holland, Alex Dillon, Megan Penney and Conor Taylor

Pupils at Sibford School received a lesson in tolerance and understanding when they were visited by Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper.

The 84-year-old spoke to students from Years 6 through to Year 13 on March 28.

He said: “We want young people to know what happened because of racism, prejudice and, of course, hatred. People say to me ‘how do I remember?’ But the question should be ‘how can I forget?’

“I can’t forget when most members of my family and some many millions of other people were slaughtered, all for no reason at all.”

Mr Shipper, who was incarcerated in camps including Auschwitz-Birkenau, described to the students how starvation totally de-humanised the inhabitants.

He said: “Pain goes away but hunger never does. If you’re starving you do things you cannot image. I was getting up in the morning and stepping over dead bodies and it didn’t mean a thing. I was completely de-humanised.”

He added the number of deaths was far more than many imagine. “I’m always asked about those who were gassed, but many more people were dying every day, so many people, killed by rifles and shooting and of course starvation and disease,” he said.

Despite this, Mr Shipper told the students that he did not feel hatred. “If you hate you have no life. Why do we hate, just because someone looks different? We’re all the same. We are all human beings.”

 

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