HSIE news

Earlier this year, Year 10 History students had the opportunity to visit the Sydney Jewish Museum where they were privileged to meet Yvonne Engelman and hear her profound story of survival.

Yvonne was a Jewish Czechoslovakian, and was just 12 when WWII broke out, turning her whole life upside down. After the outbreak of war, Yvonne and her family were forced from their family home into a crowded ghetto. From there, they would be transported to Auschwitz, where Yvonne was separated from her parents, never to see them again.

Yvonne was eventually liberated by the Russian Army, journeying in the post-war era to Australia where she would marry and start a family. Students were profoundly moved by Yvonne’s retelling of her story of survival and her messages of hope and healing.

In response to their visit to the Sydney Jewish Museum, our Year 10 students embarked on a historical investigation project exploring the theme of ‘resistance to the Holocaust’. Students presented a range of creative responses to the task including film, podcasts, posters and illustrated storybooks.

The project pictured was by Year 10 student Annie Wu, who chose to present her historical investigation as an interactive experience where participants explore a map of Warsaw to uncover the hidden evidence of the Oneg Shabbat archive – a trove of evidence that was compiled by the Jewish people incarcerated by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.

In their projects, students grappled deeply with the power of human choice and agency, producing outstanding works that showed a deep and empathetic engagement with the lessons of the Holocaust.