Visit of Chaim Ferster

Holocaust survivor shares enthralling story with students

History and Art combined during a special event at The Radclyffe School.

93-year-old Holocaust survivor Chaim Ferster spoke to students and staff of his memories of the Holocaust.

Raised in the Polish town of Sosnowiec, he endured life in a ghetto, before being forced to leave and sent to labour camps. He survived a typhus outbreak and the regular brutality of the camp. Ultimately he was sent to the death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and later Buchenwald.

After the camp was liberated by the Allies, Mr Ferster travelled to Britain and settled in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. The skill he learned which helped him to survive, being a sewing machine repairer, he put to good use, setting up his own successful business.

Students also worked with artist Caroline Slifkin to create Terezin artwork. Caroline, who works with the Holocaust Educational Trust, shares lessons about the Holocaust in an interactive way.

Terezin was a Jewish ghetto in the former Czechoslovakia – Jewish artists recorded the terrible conditions suffered by the inhabitants of the ghetto, hiding their pictures from the SS, and later smuggling them out to create a record of what was suffered by the inhabitants.

Teacher of History Amanda Jacob said, “The sessions creating the artwork and hearing Chaim Ferster’s story were a powerful experience for students and staff. It reinforced the importance for everyone of remembering what was endured.”

10 May 2016

Chaim Ferster speaking to audience

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