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4th October 2019

4th October 2019
October 4, 2019 Katie King

St Helena School students inspired by holocaust survivor

A HOLOCAUST survivor visited students to share her moving story.

Suzie Barnett, who was born in Germany, visited St Helena School in Colchester to share her life story of how her family escaped the Nazis during the Second World War.

Suzie was brought to the UK when she was a baby, five weeks before the outbreak of war.

Her siblings had arrived before her and her father was forced to leave Germany after being held in a concentration camp.

Her family was reunited after the war.

St Helena School student Georgia Setchell said: “She began with an image of her father on the screen and started to recall her parents and siblings.

“We heard about her father being ripped away from her pregnant mother and siblings to be forced into a labour camp, as well as how her siblings escaped Germany on Kindertransport.”

“We were relieved to hear her father was released from the concentration camp and was given four weeks to leave the country and he became a refugee in Singapore.”

Although all six members of her family ended up in England, they were never able to live as a family following the horrific events of their escape.

A handful of students were invited to have lunch with Suzie and speak about her research.

Georgia said: “When she was first told about the turmoil her family endured she didn’t truly understand the gravitas of what she was being told until later in life, which is why she decided to go around schools and educate the younger generations.

“I am still so shocked and disgusted at the profoundly wicked things that were inflicted upon perfectly innocent people.”

Georgia’s brother Tom was also at the talk.

He said: “When Suzie was born she was placed into seven different foster homes in the UK. Her mother came to England under the guise of a kosher cook.

“Susie talked about the Jewish Society who informed her mother that if they could pay, her father could be released from the work camps.

“Her father told her of the horrors in the camp and of the gravel paths which they were forbidden to walk on.

“He told of the gory series of murders the guards performed for their own amusement, how evil prevails if good people do not speak out.”


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