Holocaust survivor's story of life at Auschwitz shared with school pupils
Orphaned as a young boy when his parents were killed in the gas chambers, Ipswich-based Frank Bright is one of the last people in Britain able to offer first-hand testimony of the horrors of the Holocaust.
The 90-year-old, who now lives in Suffolk, was sent to Auschwitz aged 16 with his mother – a week after his father arrived at the camp. Neither of his parents made it out alive.
Mr Bright managed to avoid the gas chambers and he came to Britain after his liberation.
His story will be shared with hundreds of school pupils across Suffolk and north Essex on Wednesday, as part of the annual Dora Love Prize project.
“It means a lot to me to be able to tell my story to young people,” said Mr Bright, a patron of the competition – set up in memory of fellow survivor Dora Love.
“It is important that they understand what has happened in the past – and these are things they can’t really understand just from reading a book.”
The Dora Love Prize aims to ensure atrocities suffered by millions because of genocide and persecution are never forgotten.
This year’s competition at the University of Essex has attracted entries from 14 schools – including Northgate High School in Ipswich, East Bergholt High School, Saxmundham Free School and The Philip Morant School in Colchester.
Many entries are inspired by a black and white photograph from Mr Bright’s school days, which is covered in red and blue stickers to show which of his classmates died and which survived.
Most are red – signifying they died.
One school has produced a 3D sculpture based on the picture, which features in BBC2 documentary The Last Survivors, screened on Sunday for Holocaust Memorial Day.
Professor Rainer Schulze set up the competition in memory of honorary graduate Ms Love, who lived in Colchester, in 2013.
“The Dora Love Prize asks students to develop projects that link what they learnt about the Holocaust with the world around them, as it is today,” he said.
“The Holocaust became possible because too many people did not care about what happened to their neighbours, fellow workers or school mates, and looked away when they were first humiliated and then deported to camps.”
Winners will be determined by a panel of independent judges and will be announced on Wednesday evening, drawing the event to a close.
Mr Bright will hand over the prize to the winning school.
For more information, visit the University of Essex website.