A moving Holocaust Memorial Service at Westside School took place yesterday.
At the service students read pieces they had written, played the piano, recited a poem and wrote a message of peace and against racism on pieces of paper that were in the shape of a candle flame, which were then placed on a board.
In addition, a one-minute silence was held as everybody, students, teachers and some members of the media lit a candle and held it as the lights in the room were dimmed.
Three students created an installation piece that was on display using clothing, which depicted the shape of the Rock. The intention behind the artwork was to combat how hard it is to comprehend and visualise the extermination of over 15 million people in concentration camps and ghettos by shooting or execution.
“Through this art installation we tend to portray how this number is made up of many individual people who have lived their own individual lives with jobs and families,” said a statement from the artists.
Keri Scott, who is in charge of student welfare, told those present about the impact of speech and how hateful speech can fuel tensions, increase vulnerability and even insight violence.
Year 13 student Melanie Trinidad, shared some of her own words aimed to encourage people to respond to atrocity such as the Holocaust in a compassionate way.
Year 11 student Christine Hewitt played the piano and asked that once people listened to the music they took a moment to reflect upon their own use of words and the way you choose to respond to words that you see and hear.
Erica Balban read out a poem which was written to encourage people to learn from the Holocaust.
The schools in Gibraltar commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day throughout all of this week.
One minute silence
A one minute Silence will be observed at 12:00 noon at the Holocaust Memorial Plaque in Commonwealth Park today, to mark World Holocaust Memorial day.
Present will be the Governor, the Chief Minister, several other Ministers, the Mayor, members of the Jewish Community and of the Equality Rights Group.
Yesterday Samantha Sacramento, the Minister for Equality, highlighted the work done in this community on holocaust awareness, in particular to educate local children about the past.
“It is very important that we continue to discuss what happened in the concentration camps during World War Two and in other subsequent genocides,” she said.
“We need to remind ourselves, particularly the younger generations, of what can happen if we do not put a stop to racism, discrimination and anti-semitism.”
“This is why it is important that this subject is taught to our local school children.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Learning From Auschwitz for their determination in spreading this important message and to all our local schools and teachers who have prepared lessons and activities this week for the benefit of the next generation of Gibraltarians.”