THOUSANDS of school pupils have been given the opportunity to listen to a Holocaust survivor speak about their experiences as part of a four-day event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD).
Around 2,000 students from 36 secondary schools in Hillingdon, Harrow and Hertfordshire are taking part in this year's Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events - the largest event of its type in the UK.
The successful event is organised by Northwood United Synagogue, in Murray Road, and Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS), in Oaklands Gate, to mark HMD yesterday (Tues).
Bob Kirk, 83, of Northwood, was just 13 years old when he had to leave his parents in Germany to move to England by himself in 1939.
He has spoken about his experiences every year at the Northwood event since it started eight years ago.
He said: "I do the talks because I think it's essential that the next generations know what happened and I think it has much more impact listening to someone who was there rather than reading about it.
"My wife and I have the same view on this and we owe it to our parents to explain as much as we possibly can."
The chosen theme for this year's event, which finishes tomorrow (Thur), was Kristallnacht - the turning point which many believe marked the beginning of the Holocaust.
Senior Rabbi at NPLS, Aaron Goldstein, said: "This year we actually commissioned our own 10-minute film about Kristallnacht because it's the 70th anniversary and we couldn't find any films about it that could help children understand what it was.
"We wanted people to see that it was not only Jews affected by the Holocaust. Different people were victimised and many of the children who watched the film could actually identify with that.
"The event provides children with this incredible opportunity to meet and hear a survivor because we're only going to have them for a few more years."