A group of Rydal Penrhos pupils got the chance to hear a Holocaust survivor’s experience first hamd thanks to a recent visit.
Susan Pollack MBE was a special guest at the school on Tuesday, January 29, where she spoke about her ordeal during the Second World War with History pupils and staff members.
The visit was arranged by North Wales Holocaust Memorial Committee members Roy and Jackie Thurley, who also took time out of their schedule to spend the morning at Rydal Penrhos.
Mrs Pollack, who was born in 1930, saw her uncle murdered by fascists at a very young age, before he father was taken to a concentration camp after agreeing to attend a meeting to discuss the welfare of Jewish families in 1944.
She never saw her father again and still is not sure whether he died in the camp or was deported elsewhere.
Under the supervision of SS officer Adolf Eichmann, the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators organised the deportation of Hungarian Jews: within less than two months from mid-May 1944, almost all Jews were deported, mostly to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
When Mrs Pollack and her family were ordered to leave their home, they were all sent to a ghetto in Vác and from there to an internment camp before arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her mother was immediately sent to the gas chambers.
Mrs Pollack was selected to work, and remained in the camp for around 10 weeks before being sent to Guben in Germany to work as a slave labourer in an armaments factory before being liberated on April 15, 1945.
More than 50 of her family members were killed in the Holocaust, and after the war, Mrs Pollack lived in Sweden before moving to Canada, where she met and married a fellow survivor.
She has three children and six grandchildren. She now lives in London and regularly shares her testimony in schools across the country.