Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

Written by Lisa Carroll on 27/01/2017 15:38:31.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

How can life go on? is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017.

The aftermath of the Holocaust and of subsequent genocides continues to raise challenging questions for individuals, communities and nations. HMD 2017 asks audiences to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime. This year’s theme is broad and open ended, there are few known answers.
Author and survivor of the Holocaust Elie Wiesel has said:
'For the survivor death is not the problem. Death was an everyday occurrence. We learned to live with Death. The problem is to adjust to life, to living. You must teach us about living.'
Pentrehafod Year 11 students took part in the Holocaust Memorial Service at Bishop Gore School.

A poem was written by Hannah John and Amy Hintjens called Truth. This was then recited by Jessica Morgridge, Sean Huxtable and Paige Walters. 


                                                      It’s a truly frightful thing, him coming into power.

But life must go on.

We wait and listen for a glimmer of hope, something that will pull us through.

Yet we’re only met with sorrow and doubt, a glimpse into a dark and terrifying future.

We watch in horror as our neighbours and friends are called into the streets and sent to the ghettos without explanation.

We join our families in keeping safe and out of sight.

Hiding is no longer a game to us, but instead a survival skill.

Where we have to choose to hide or abide.

And we don’t want to live a lie.

Life must go on, and it does.


It’s a truly petrifying thing, being caught.

But life must go on.

We’re bound a beaten and treated like dirt,

And it’s as if we’re a piece of rubbish.

Fear is thick within the air as we’re dragged on to trains and left with our thoughts.

What if we’d been more careful?

What if we’d gone somewhere safe?

What if we’d kept to ourselves?

What if we’d given up?

Life must go on, and it does.


It’s a truly gut wrenching thing, being forced to work.

But life must go on.

We push ourselves through sickening pain and work ourselves halfway to death.

With tasks that are pointless and made to humiliate

But have to be done because the dread of punishment hangs over our heads.

The beds are stiff and the days are long and we have little to no food.

We’re so weak.

Life must go on, and it does.


It’s a truly daunting thing, being so unaware of your fate.

But life must go on.

They tell us that we need showers and hot drinks

And lead us to the room of comfort.

We’re told to strip and step inside because showering together will save water.

We step inside, dazed and confused, with a small ember of optimism begging to be lit into a flame.

We chat to one another and discuss our day,

We talk about our families and what we’re going to do after.

We listen to the thrum of the pipes, waiting for the water to wash our doubts away.

The water will come, but it doesn’t.

The spark will ignite, but it doesn’t.

Life must go on, but it doesn’t.


By Hannah John 11.6 & Amy Hintjens 11.1