Holocaust Memorial Day

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - 
    Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out -
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
    Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me -
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

These words from Martin Niemöller, a German U-boat commander in the First World War who became a clergyman in the Lutheran church and a leader of resistance to the Nazi regime, challenge us to think about the extent to which we are collaborators or bystanders or among those who speak out in the face of injustice. 

We mark this day by engaging our community in continuing to ask questions about the Holocaust and other genocides and about what we can do, individually and institutionally, to ensure such atrocities never happen again. 

In the films below you will find a commentary on evocative performances from Year 7 pupils for the Echo Eternal Horizons festival and artistic responses from Year 12 pupils to the testimony of writer and illustrator Judith Kerr, underscored by our Madrigal Choir.

In her testimony, generously gifted to us by Echo Eternal, Judith Kerr implores us not to take our time and opportunities for granted: 'What would they not have given to have had even a month of the live I've had. You can’t waste it, can you?'

We are delighted to be working with Echo Eternal and Aegis Trust.

Dr Joe Spence

Be the Light in the Darkness

What a pleasure it has been to respond creatively to the echo of Judith’s testimony; and to look forward to how this will continue to resound in our creative engagement throughout 2021. 

Our Pledge

In Judith Kerr's name we pledge to echo her story and celebrate the contribution she made to children's literature and to art and to shine a light on the lessons we can take from the difficult journey made by Judith and her family, and by all refugees fleeing from tyranny and conflict. We will do this by embedding Judith's testimony into Dulwich College and by supporting Aegis Trust in their work towards the prevention of genocide and the reconciliation of divided communities.

Dulwich College have been gifted the testimony of writer and artist Judith Kerr, survivor of the Holocaust, through our partnership with Echo Eternal.
Judith’s words have inspired creative workshops and performance in Music, Drama and Art, notably in Year 7 and in Year 12 and also in collaboration with Year 4 pupils at Judith Kerr Primary School in Herne Hill. Through these creative responses we have begun to echo Judith’s story and the story of the Holocaust and other genocides.

Echo’s inspired by Judith Kerr’s testimony

At the end of the Michaelmas term Year 7 Drama workshops were framed around creating puppets which were animated to enjoy journeys of exploration around found spaces in the theatre. This led to adventurous encounter with other props and stage furniture which were also animated in a whirl of magical realism. We look forward to this being expanded in workshops later this year, developing pupils’ animation techniques with professional puppeteers.

Puppet-making also ignited the imaginations of Year 4 children at Judith Kerr Primary School where we collaborated for an afternoon of storytelling beginning with their artistic responses to narratives of flight and migrants on giant strips of paper, which were then rolled and scrunched to form the body of the puppets – with the experience of the journey, therefore, already implicit within the soul of the puppet – each individual to the children taking part. Puppet-making was taken to a whole new level in a wellbeing session to illustrate the importance of co-collaboration and trust when embarking on a vital journey as a giant puppet was constructed to roam and explore the site to charm and intrigue all those it encountered.

19 Candles

Our Year 7 Madrigal Choir sing the breathtakingly beautiful Weep no More as Dulwich’s contribution for the Echo Eternal Horizons film for Holocaust Memorial Day as Dr Spence lays 19 candles representing the 19 Holocaust survivors whose testimonies have so far been gifted to schools in the UK. Judith Kerr’s candle is the last to be placed at the entrance to the College as a symbol of our pledge and commitment to echo Judith’s story.

Year 12 ‘Light in the Dark’

Judith’s ever positive echo of optimism in the face of adversity has woven its way into the stimulus of light in the darkness for the current Year 12 art project with thrillingly diverse references from the chiaroscuro in Caravaggio’s paintings and the monochrome of Picasso’s Guernica to Daniel Libeskin’s architectural and sculptural responses to voids, space, time, memory​ at the Jewish Museum in Berlin

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