BBC News School Reports 2016-17

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Treviglas Student Interviews the daughter of Holocaust Victims

Jack, a Year 9 student, was so interested in his history sessions with Mr Chamberlain, his teacher, that he took his learning outside the classroom. He told the School Report Team, “The Holocaust was the result of a horror of a man called Adolf Hitler who came to power in the 1930s. Germany had suffered financially due to WWI; it had to pay back countries that had been damaged. One of the main reasons that Hitler rose to power was because of the financial ruin of Germany; he nearly succeeded in destroying the Jewish race.”

Jack was so interested in this topic that he sought out a friend of the family, Marie Woods and he documented their conversation by film. Her parents met at a concentration camp in Poland; they fell in love and then later married. Marie’s mother, Karola Weissman, was a Polish Jew and her father, George Bennett was in the British Army; he was captured and so was a prisoner of war at the same camp as his future wife – both were in their early twenties when they were seized. The Germans killed most of Karola’s family in the death camps: she never saw her parents, aunts, uncles and cousins ever again. She witnessed and endured terrible things, as did George. Marie, aged 70, said that her mother never saw any children or elderly people. She told Jack that they were murdered as soon as they arrived.

Karola and George were victims of the Holocaust but they survived the war. However, the traumas that they both received whilst in the camp left terrible mental scars; they both suffered illness after as a result. Her mother had suffered from depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Her father suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of being in the concentration camps. Their marriage unfortunately ended in divorce, as they couldn’t cope with each other’s problems and Marie saw her father rarely after the age of three.

Marie Woods said “My mother hid tinned food in a locked box under her bed.” This was due to the lack of food that the prisoners had. Food was seen as precious. The camps were awful; the prisoners were not given a lot of food. Marie told Jack that women of all ages would have to march out in the snow and rain, with no clothes on; the German soldiers would laugh at them. She added, “When the babies were born in the camp, the Germans would throw the babies up into the air and use them for target practice.” The Germans raped some women repeatedly and babies were not allowed to live. When the prisoners arrived at the camps, they were made to form one line, they were sent either to the left or to the right of this line. If they were sent to the left then they would be sent straight to the gas chamber- the others were often worked to death. Each person was stripped, shaved and given a number that was tattooed on their bodies.

The prisoners were treated with less respect than we treat our animals. Not only were the Jews treated inhumanely but also gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, other races and POWs as well.

Marie told Jack that she suffered too. Her mother had many problems that affected her as young child. She only really understood the reasons for her mother’s behaviour when she was in her twenties.

We should remember the Holocaust for many reasons. One of these is that we should prevent another Holocaust happening. Racism was one of the causes of this atrocity Even in this day and age, racism plays a part in our society; this ranges from just nasty comments to bullying. The Holocaust affected many thousands of people’s lives and still does today. Although Marie Woods never actually experienced the Holocaust, she still suffers from certain anxieties as a result of her childhood. This is horrifying because although she never had to witness or experience the Holocaust she still bears the scars of it.

Jack will be showing his documentary in his history session so that his classmates relate to these atrocities in our history.

Karola Weissman,,Marie’s mother, before the camp                                              

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George Bennett, Marie’s father

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Victims of Marie’s family that never survived the horrors of the Holocaust

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Treviglas students make a stand on pollution in Cornwall

Fly Tipping is escalating and our environment is in danger. It pollutes us; it endangers our habitat and our wildlife’s habitats, whether on land or at sea. The raw fact is that it helps to degrade our planet, therefore adding a strain to our fragile existence. Emma Lister, a resident at Rame Head and a former RNLI Life Guard was alarmed at the amount of litter that she and the other residents collected weekly on their local beach. Her husband, a surfer, was concerned with the amount of rubbish in the sea because surfers were in danger of being hurt because of larger litter items in the sea. She said, “I’m concerned about the amount of plastic discharged into sea; there is real concern amount micro-beads: these pieces of microscopic plastic enter the ecosystem and are changing or killing small organisms.”

Litter levels have remained fairly stable according to government statistics over the past decade; these figures were collated on behalf of the Government. The disposal of litter costs approximately between 100-150 million pounds per year. This is a vast sum to pay to clean up other peoples’ mess. A lot of wasted money-we could spend this money on crucial services such as health or education.

Fly tipping is illegal and it’s not simply due to ignorance. Cornwall not only has a beautiful countryside, which encourages an amazing amount of wildlife, its coast line is renowned for its beauty and idyllic beaches throughout the world. Disposal of waste that is dumped carelessly in the sea is washed onto the shore, so much so, that it is destroying our beaches; the public cannot enjoy the true beauty of them. It is also killing many animals, such as sea birds, fish, crustaceans, sea mammals and the less understood micro-organisms which help to sustain the ecosystems of our sea. Plastic bottles and food packaging are found around all kinds of dead or dying animals- think about the horrific deaths that these creatures had. The government have gone some way to reduce the catastrophe of plastic carrier bags and the effect on our wildlife- but is this far enough?

Recently, 25 tonnes of beach litter was collected around local beaches in Cornwall, including 833,333 plastic bottles! “Jaw dropping!” That’s what Surfers Against Sewage called it!  This is outrageous and it needs to be stopped.

Ellie, a Treviglas student told us, “I do litter picking with my mum on the beach. There is always new litter.”

Mrs Seyfert, a science teacher at the college added, “I think the worst of all the litter is nappies, bottles, dog waste and cans. People should pick up their waste and make the effort to put it in the bin!”

This is a tragedy. Just think what it could be like for our children’s children if no one does anything about it! Students at Treviglas Community College are concerned about the amount of litter found at the beach. A recently formed group at the college will be doing something to help the local beaches, Mr Lewis, the teacher leading this group said, “My sustainability group consider this a serious issue and so we have organised with the Surfers Against Sewage a mass litter pick on 8th April 2017 at Towan Beach. All students and staff are welcome to give us a hand, the gloves will be provided.”

Is this what we want for Cornwall?

A good way to resolve fly-tipping would be to invest some more CCTV cameras so that more people would be caught for fly-tipping, however this is not always practical or affordable so maybe the local government could make the local people feel responsible for their environment. In Cornwall, businesses are charged a considerable sum of money to use the purpose built refuse areas; likewise the general public are charged money for the disposal of certain goods. Perhaps the public wouldn’t feel tempted to off load these goods onto the countryside if these charges were reduced or abolished. Fines and convictions are rare because it is difficult to police these antisocial activities- we need the members of the public to be on the side of our fragile planet.

 

BBC SCHOOL REPORT TEAM 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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