28th November 2016
Writing: Rohan Sharma (Year 9)
Photography: Vandan Somani (Year 9)
Editing: Vandan Somani (Year 9)
For the whole afternoon, last Monday, Year 9 had the privilege to listen to Rudi Oppenheimer, a Holocaust survivor.
We haven't learned a thing. [Rudi Oppenheimer]
Rudi Oppenheimer is 85 years old, and has spoken to over 1000 schools since the end of the Second World War. He has one older brother, who unfortunately passed away almost a decade ago, and a younger sister, who is still alive, but has stopped giving talks. His younger sister has proved to be a huge factor in his life and had indirectly saved his family, as she was born in Britain, hence the Nazis didn't treat them as unfairly as other Jews.
Rudi started his story by giving an insight of his life before the war, including discussing how his parents met, and talking about his uncle, who he was named after.
His uncle was a role model to Rudi, and was more of a sporty person, compared to his parents, who were both philosophers.
When Rudi was young, his family were forced to move to different places, and when he was quite young they moved to England from Berlin, where his sister, Eve, was born. Later on, his dad got a job in Amsterdam, so he then moved there. Soon after, Holland was invaded by Germany.
His family were compelled to go to Bergen-Belsen, a concentration camp in Germany, where his parents unfortunately died. But thankfully, just before the war ended, the camp was liberated, and he and his siblings were set free.
Despite being 85 years old, Rudi spoke very fluently with no hesitation throughout his presentation. This shows a great deal of determination to share his story with the world, and make sure no such events like the Holocaust ever occur again.
His story was sad yet compelling, and so his brother Paul published a book re-telling it, titled ‘From Belsen to Buckingham palace’. We even had the chance to purchase a copy of this book, signed by Rudi. Before this, we got to ask questions.