Pleckgate pupils heard the moving story of Holocaust survivor Anne Super through the school’s partnership with The Anne Frank Trust and the link with The Fed.
Pleckgate is one of 10 Anne Frank Trust Link Schools in the UK, promoting a society safe from prejudice and discrimination and working closely with the Trust to do this.
The Fed is a Jewish Social Care Charity which launched My Voice, a project recording the lives of Holocaust survivors and refugees in their own voice through a storybook.
Anne, who lives in Manchester, has had her book of her life published through My Voice and she spoke to Pleckgate’s Anne Frank Ambassadors in Year 10 and the Anne Frank Exhibition Guides in Year 7 about it.
She told them that her first memory is of being in a cot in around 1941 and seeing green, the colour of the German officer’s uniform. Then she remembers her mother crying and being rounded up with other Jews and taken outside.
Her mother, knowing what was to come, pushed Anne through a hedge and told her to run and she was picked up by a local milkwoman. She never saw her parents again and knows they were taken to a concentration camp and were murdered.
She lived with the milk woman’s family for several months and said she probably only survived because of her blue eyes and blonde hair but it was a battle for food and they didn’t want her permanently. She was then put on a train aged four to live with an aunt and a railway worker risked his life to take her to Warsaw to be with her aunt. She had to sit on the top of the train as inside was reserved for Germans only.
While in Warsaw, she was still hiding from the Germans and Anne only just survived tuberculosis. Then an uncle contacted the Red Cross looking for his family and found his niece, Anne, was still alive.
In 1948, she went to South African to live with him and, in her words, ‘then life began.’ This life took her to Namibia, Edinburgh and eventually Manchester. Along the way she married and had three children and opened an opticians.
She didn’t talk about her early life, not even with her children, until the Fed encouraged her to tell her story as part of the My Voice project recently.
The Pleckgate pupils admitted they were shocked by her story.
“The Pleckgate pupils were knowledgeable and interested, all that you would want,” said Anne.
Anne Frank Ambassador Year 10 Maryam said: “It was such a powerful story and at times so emotional. I feel privileged to be here to hear the story. It has had an impact on me and I think it is something I will never forget.
“I am an Anne Frank Ambassador at Pleckgate and Anne’s story made me realise people are capable of overcoming the worst of hardships.”
Yusra in Year 7 said: “It was a really powerful talk and it made me realise you always have hope.”
Zainab said: “It made you appreciate what you have today and what you take for granted.”
Ahmed said: “It was shocking. How would you feel having a gun pointed at you? It shows how cruel people can be and you shouldn’t discriminate or be prejudiced.”
Zaibaa designed a special artwork for Anne depicting her life.
“I read her book and thought about how far she had come as a child in Warsaw to having children and loving her children the way she couldn’t be loved by her parents growing up and how she brought her life together.
“I designed it showing Warsaw, South Africa and Manchester, significant places in Anne’s life.”
Head Teacher Mrs McGinty said: “I feel honoured and privileged to hear Anne’s story. It’s so difficult to understand and appreciate what Anne went through, and the vision of a four-year-old on top of a train will stick with me, but she has shown amazing resilience in life.
“It’s a moment that will stay with all the pupils who heard it and I am proud of the questions they asked.”