I felt privileged to be among the audience last week to hear the deeply moving, emotional and powerful testimony of Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper. The talk to our students and staff was arranged via the Holocaust Educational Trust and Jewish Care, whom we have long been supporters of and have donated to via the Brampton Charitable Trust.
Zigi, talking to us over Zoom, was supported by his daughter Michelle who read most of his testimony on his behalf and recounted her father’s experience of the brutal, dehumanising atrocities committed in the Nazi death camps. She told of his memory of being starving hungry for years on end, being terrified at all times and of the acts of barbarity he witnessed.
When Zigi himself spoke toward the end of the testimony, I felt the emotional connection he immediately inspired among the students who were humbled and gripped by what he had to say. His words were deeply moving and his response to the questions of the students was personal and thought-provoking. When asked why, at the age of 92, he feels the need to keep telling his story, he simply said that he feels it is important that people know and hear about what happened to him and his friends and family in the hope that it might never happen again.
It was an honour to hear from a witness to one of the most shameful events in human history, particularly as, given Zigi’s age, he may not be able to tell his story for much longer. Zigi – we thank you for giving us your time. For those of you who missed the talk, you can view another of the talks that Zigi has given via this YouTube link
John Wilson, Vice Principal