On Thursday 29th November, Riddlesdown Collegiate got a visit from Susan Polack, a survivor of the Holocaust. She told the students about her experiences in: the ghetto, in Auschwitz camp, her experiences in Hungary and her life in general.
Susan told us about how her family had been killed, her journey to the camp on the train and how she nearly suffocated because of the lack of oxygen. She explained how, at the camp in Auschwitz, she had her hair completely shaven off and had to stand completely naked in front the ‘evil’ Dr.Mangala and pretend she was 15 or else be beaten and sent to the gas chambers.
Susan Polack is now happily married with 3 children, one a teacher, the second a set designer and the other a doctor, Susan even has a diploma in psychology. She is deeply religious and said she ‘never lost faith’, no matter what happened.
Susan has been going from school to school telling people about the events that took place in Auschwitz and what it was like for her. She has been doing this now for about 20 years, but is thinking of retiring. What Susan is trying to do is to tell people what happened ‘so that it won’t happen again’.
It was a great experience for everyone watching, including the teachers. One student said ‘it was great, and really interesting. I understood exactly how terrible it was in the concentration camps.’ Another student said ‘I loved it. She put in so much detail, I felt like I was there’.
By Chloe and Mira
( Edited by Jacob and Louis)