Academy youngsters learn about the Holocaust
Holocaust survivor Steven Frank BEM shared his testimony with Manchester United and Manchester City’s Under-14s Academy players and wider club staff ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Holocaust Memorial Day, held on 27 January 2021, was the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
Steven Frank BEM was born in 1935 into a secular Jewish family in Amsterdam. In 1943 the Frank family were sent to Westerbork transit camp before arriving at Terezin in Czechoslovakia where the family survived and were liberated on 9th May 1945.
Steven, his mother and two brothers, rebuilt their lives in Britain. He now lives in Hertfordshire and regularly speaks in schools about his experiences during the Holocaust.
Manchester United’s Under-14s have been exploring the lives of Jewish people before the Second World War and learning about the life of Eddy Hamel, a Jewish footballer who played for Ajax, who lost his life during the Holocaust.
As part of their project, the group have painted foundation stones. Building on the Jewish custom of placing a pebble on headstones when visiting a grave, the boys have written messages as an act of remembrance of the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution.
Karen Pollock MBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are delighted that Manchester United and Manchester City have come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. We know the power that hearing from a survivor has and that this experience will stay with academy players for years to come. Having heard from a witness, they will now become witnesses to the past.
"Together, we will ensure that people from all walks of life know what happened during the Holocaust and the dangers of unchecked hate. And together, we will help shape a better future.”
Wayne Cahill, United’s Academy Education Officer said: “It was a real honour to bring both Under-14s groups together to hear Steven’s unforgettable testimony.
"Listening to Steven’s story of resilience, togetherness and tolerance was truly inspiring. I know the session has had a massive impact on our boys, who will now be able to share the experience with their family and friends."The event forms part of our enrichment programme which aims to expose our players to a variety of different education projects which aid their development as well-rounded young people.
"We are extremely grateful to Steven and the Holocaust Educational Trust for providing us with this opportunity and we look forward to continuing to work together.”
More information on Steven’s testimony and the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust can be found at https://www.het.org.uk/.