The prime minister has praised the commitment of student ambassadors who work to preserve the memory of those who died in the Holocaust.
David Cameron spoke with Holocaust survivor Freda Wineman as well as Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) student ambassadors William Pinder and Hannah Hardman during a meeting to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which took place on Sunday (January 27).
William and Hannah are students at St Cecilia’s School in Wandsworth, London, and visited the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau last year as part of the HET Lessons from Auschwitz project.
Since their visit, they have created a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust as part of their work to pass on the message of what they have seen. They also made presentations to their school and a short film.
Both William and Hannah have now been appointed as HET regional ambassadors, a new voluntary role to help co-ordinate ambassador activities.
During the meeting, Mr Cameron signed the HET’s Book of Commitment, before it was placed in the Houses of Parliament to give MPs the opportunity to add their names.
The book marks signatories’ commitment to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and to challenging all forms of prejudice and hatred. Mr Cameron wrote: “The tragedy is that so many did suffer from persecution and prejudice, but your work will make sure we never give up this fight and build a better world.”
Ms Wineman was born in Metz, France in 1923. Her family fled south when war came but was arrested and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Freda was placed in a work detail sorting the belongings of prisoners and those who had been sent to their death. Having been sent from Auschwitz in 1944, Freda was held in Bergen-Belsen and then a camp near Ravensbruck before being sent to Theresienstadt, where she was liberated by the Russian Army on May 9, 1945.
Freda learned that her parents and her brother Marcel had been killed at Auschwitz. Her brothers David and Armand had both survived.
After her meeting with Mr Cameron, Ms Wineman said: “I spoke to the prime minister about never becoming complacent, because the evils of prejudice, discrimination and intolerance continue to exist in Britain and elsewhere, making the lessons we can learn from the Holocaust important and relevant to our lives today.”
For more on the HET, visit www.het.org.uk and for details of Holocaust Memorial Day, go to http://hmd.org.uk CAPTION: Never forget: HET student ambassadors Hannah Hardman and William Pinder talk with the prime minister as Holocaust survivor Freda Wineman looks on (top image). The guests also witness prime minister David Cameron signing the Book of Commitment (above).