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Beth Shalom Museum

Years 5 and 6 visited Beth Shalom Museum to learn about the holocaust.

On Monday and Tuesday, Years 5 and 6 went to Beth Shalom Museum to learn about the holocaust.

We went into different rooms and got told a story about a young Jewish boy called Leo and how war changed his life. One of the rooms was his living room. We found out that Leo’s family might have known Anne Frank’s family because they had some artefacts that Anne Frank’s family owned. Jewish people had mezuzahs on their doors to show respect to God. They would have them on every door in the house except the bathroom.

Another room we went into was Leo’s classroom where we learnt about how the teachers treated Jewish people.  They treated them very badly by calling them to the front of the class room and embarrassing them by calling them names and making fun of them; you would never think that a teacher would bully a student that way. We went into the streets and looked at two shops, one owned by a Jewish man and the other by a non-Jewish man. The non-Jewish man’s shop was untouched, however, the Jewish shop was very different. There was a Star of David painted onto the door in red to show danger, there was the word Jude (Jewish) painted on the window and smashed glass.  This showed how Jewish people’s shops were affected.

Leo’s dad’s shop was another room we entered.  His tailor shop was completely vandalised: the fabric was torn, there were paintings on the walls and money stolen from the till. We were told to look for the secret hiding place that Leo’s family would have had to hide in for a few years. Once we had found it we went inside and it was a very well hidden place and inside it was cold with only one bed and a toilet and some other valuables. The toilet wouldn’t have been flushed, only because they would have had to stay quiet so the Nazis didn’t find them and it would have had an extremely bad odour.

Leo wouldn’t have hid with them because he was one of the children to go on the kinder transport. We got to sit in a carriage and saw what it would have been like for him. He could have only taken a small suitcase with very little things inside. Leo wanted to take his little sister Hannah with him but he couldn’t because she was too small, so Leo was all alone with no family. Our day concluded by talking to a lady called Eve; she survived the holocaust and she told us about her life back then.  She explained to us that her mum and dad passed away from starvation and she told us about what life was like in the camps and how it affected her life. This was very emotional and we all took time to think about it.                                                   Written by Jessica and Libby