Her testimony was powerful and gave a very valuable insight into this tragic event from an eye witness perspective. Penwith College Academic Academy and History students were joined by history students from Mounts Bay Academy and from Cape Cornwall School, and after the talk, Penwith College A Level students who have visited Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust Education Trust's "Lesson from Auschwitz Programme", led a seminar with the secondary students, further unpacking some of the important issues raised.
One Cape Cornwall student commented: "Personally, I considered the talk to be a particularly fascinating one, especially considering how rare it is, and how much rarer it will become in the future. To read of the Holocaust is one thing, but to be told of it by an actual survivor is quite another, a stark reminder of the reality of it all and the possibility of history repeating itself."
Another said: "Today really helped my understanding of the Holocaust. It made it a very personal experience and not just a number. It helped me also to see how Hitler was able to get away with what he did and how widespread antisemitism really was at that time."
Students from Truro and Penwith College are offered opportunities every year to visit Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust Education Trust's programme for post-16 students.
“The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor. Joanna’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing her testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.
“At the Trust, we impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, to ensure that we honour the memory of those whose lives were lost and take forward the lessons taught by those who survived.” Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust