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Corby Glen students meet man who escaped from Nazis as a child

Charles Read Academy students with Ernest Simon.
Charles Read Academy students with Ernest Simon.

Students at Corby Glen’s Charles Read Academy welcomed a Second World War survivor to share his experiences of growing up in the shadow of Nazi Germany.

The students, who are studying the topic for GCSE history, were left fascinated as Ernest Simon shared his account of fleeing Austria following a coordinated attack on Jewish communities before the outbreak of the war.

The 87-year-old discussed his journey to England in January 1939 when he was just eight years old. Mr Simon’s parents placed him on a Kindertransport, a train which took mainly Jewish children out of the country. Following his arrival in England, he was reunited with his parents as they also fled Austria to escape the atrocities.

During the visit, students had the opportunity ask questions of Mr Simon and view some of the documents obtained by him during the war.

Ben Turner, a Year 11 student, said: “It was so interesting to hear this first-hand account of what it was like during the Second World War. I can’t imagine how scary it must have been to be a child growing up in such a dangerous situation.

“This visit has really helped me to gain a better understanding of the war.”

Harriet Cornwell, lead teacher for cultural studies at Charles Read Academy, said: “The students were left speechless after hearing from one of the survivors of the war.

“Not only has this visit helped students to prepare for their upcoming exams, but it is so important to educate our young people on some of the tragic events that have taken place throughout world history.”


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