A film made by students at two Cornish schools has played a key role in Holocaust Memorial Day in the county.

Young people from Richard Lander School and Harvey Kurzfield, chairman of Kehillata Kernow, gatherd with council leaders to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 at County Hall yesterday, (January 27).

After a prayer read by Harvey Kurzfield, David Hampshire, Cornwall Council RE adviser, introduced a short film made to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2014, which includes the voices of nine young people who visited Auschwitz with their schools.

The film was developed with St Ives School and Richard Lander School, Truro as a result of the visits they made to Auschwitz in 2012. The nine pupils reflect on the horror of the Holocaust and the personal impact that the visit to Auschwitz has had on them. They make a case why more people should visit the sites of the Holocaust and whether we have learned anything from history.

Hannah, Craig and Yselkla from Richard Lander School, who took part in the making of the film, lit candles in memory of the six million who were killed during the Holocaust and in memory of those killed in other genocides from the past and the present.

David Hampshire, Cornwall Council REaAdviser who co-ordinated the production of the film, said: “The process of filming was incredibly moving. It was the detail of the memory that was most profound. One pupil talked about the emotional journey that they had undergone. Hearing from Hannah, Craig and Yselkla today reinforced the impact of their experience in visiting Auschwitz. Perhaps it is only when the emotions are engaged in education that education actually takes place.”

Cornwall Council Chairman John Wood says: “The passing of time must never be allowed to become an excuse for future generations to choose to forget the horrors that overwhelmed so many. It is from history that our young people will learn the importance of mans humanity to man and the consequences of what happens when we lose sight of the sanctity of all human life. Young people constitute our future. Listening to the account of their experiences, these young people capture the true horror and scale of the Holocaust. Such visits show that education can have a profound impact on young people in such a way that they want to change their world for the better.”