We are honoured to have featured in the Lancashire Telegraph, and we are even more proud of our pupils for their hard work and dedication. Please read the following piece by Amy Farnworth, Chief Reporter:
High school pupils in Blackburn heard the moving story of Holocaust survivor Anne Super through the school’s partnership with The Anne Frank Trust and a link with The Fed.
Anne, who lives in Manchester, has had the 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 was put on a train aged four and was then taken to Warsaw, and in 1948, went to South Africa to live with an uncle and, in her words, ‘then life began.’
This life took her to Namibia, Edinburgh and eventually Manchester, and 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.
Anne said: “The Pleckgate pupils were knowledgeable and interested, all that you would want.”
Anne Frank ambassador Year 10 Maryam Motala 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 Bhata in Year 7 said: “It was a really powerful talk and it made me realise you always have hope.”
Ahmed Nazir 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 Karolia designed a special artwork for Anne depicting her life. She said: “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.”
Pleckgate’s head teacher Aishling 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.”