Visit from Lady Milena in advance of Holocaust Memorial Day
Lady Milena's first-hand account captivated both prep and senior school audiences
In advance of Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January, we were honoured to welcome Lady Milena to both our prep and senior schools yesterday. Lady Milena was accompanied by Mr Julian Wilde who has been instrumental in making the connection with our school. Milena captivated our students and staff with her moving story about how she escaped from the Nazis in Czechoslovakia on a 'Winton train' from Prague in 1939.
At the age of 9 she travelled alone with her 3.5 year old sister as a refugee to the UK. It was particularly poignant to see the artefacts that she showed us, including her label that she wore to board that train all those year ago and the autograph book her grandfather gave her with a final message, "Be faithful to the country you are leaving, to your parents and to your grandfather who loves you very much" - heartbreaking, as she was never to see him again.
It was a great privilege to hear her first hand account of how over 600 children were saved by Nicholas Winston who arranged for them to be taken care of by families in the UK. She explained the process, the people she befriended and how she was finally united with both her mother and father. After spending time with our Year 6 pupils in prep school who are studying WWII and contributing to the Holocaust Memorial Service, she spoke to a packed audience in the senior school library.
This talk helped us to have a better understanding of how lives were impacted and families torn apart by war, but also of kindness, courage and resilience.
A student blog will follow.
You can read more about the Memorial Day and Lady Milena here: https://www.hmd.org.uk/resource/lady-milena-grenfell-baines/