Academic Academy and History A level students at Penwith College were joined by students from Mounts Bay Academy and Cape Cornwall School on January 23 to hear testimony from Holocaust survivor, Joanna Millan, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

Her testimony was powerful and gave a very valuable insight into this tragic event from an eye witness perspective. Penwith College students were joined by senior history students from Mounts Bay Academy and from Cape Cornwall School.

After the talk, Penwith College A Level students who had visited Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust Education Trust's Lesson from Auschwitz programme, which is offered to students from the college every year, led a seminar with the secondary students, further unpacking some of the important issues raised.

One Cape Cornwall student said: "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 student 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."

Elle Wheatley, History Lecturer, said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Joanna Millan to the college and her testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced.

"We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Joanna’s testimony, it will encourage all of the students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “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.”