Year 9 students at Bournville School and Sixth Form will hear testimony from 77 year old Susi Bechhofer, one of the few remaining holocaust survivors.
Susi and her twin sister came to Britain on the Kindertransport in May 1939 at the age of 3. The girls were born in 1936 in Munich, Germany. Their mother, Rosa, was a Jewish domestic servant and their father, who was member of the Nazi party, left Munich before they were born. Unable to cope with the demands of children and working, Rosa sent Susi and her sister Lotte to the local orphanage, where she visited them once a week until they came to Britain. Rosa was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943 where she died.
Susi’s story was the basis of the novel ‘Austerlitz’ by W.G. Sebald and her story is told in ‘Rosa’s Child’, by Jeremy Josephs and Susi Bechhofer.
Susi’s story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and her visit will help students to understand the lessons learnt from the Holocaust. Also, students will be able to appreciate where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.
With thanks to Kuldip Sunner