Holocaust Survivor Talk

Holocaust Survivor Talk

On Tuesday, we were privileged to welcome Paula Zeff, a Holocaust survivor, to Caterham School, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Paula shared her testimony with our Third Year cohort.  Both pupils and staff found her story incredibly moving, humbling and revealing about current society. Paula eloquently articulated how this aspect of history is still part of our lives today and she encouraged pupils to recognise the power that they have to prevent and expose racial hatred and discrimination in our world.

Paula described her close family and how they were separated before the Second World War.  She was sent to live with her grandmother’s sister in Holland and when it was decided that it was too dangerous to keep Paula they asked a local church to help.  A very brave family volunteered and Paula went to live with them.  They had seven children; the youngest was five years older than Paula.  Paula shared some of her family photos with us. She had to stay indoors during the war and her description of joy felt when peace in Europe was announced, was vivid.

We learnt from Paula how, after the Second World War when the fate of her parents and grandparents became clear, she was sent to live with her uncle where acclimatisation took some time.  Paula finished her testimony with a picture of her extended family today.  She now has three children of her own and seven grandchildren and she plays an active role in their lives.

Paula’s story was ultimately about bravery, compassion and incredible human spirit in the face of adversity.  We are indebted to Paula for her courage and her willingness to share her testimony which has touched us all.

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