Helen Stone, mede-voorzitter van de Britse organisatie Generation 2 Generation, zal 18 februari spreken op Limmoed Nederland over hoe nieuwe generaties op een eigen, persoonlijke wijze vertellen over de Holocaust. Voor De Vrijdagavond geeft Helen Stone een voorproefje.
Born in Amsterdam
Steven Frank was born in Amsterdam in 1937 and enjoyed a happy life until the age of five, when he, his two brothers and mother were transported by the Nazis and endured appalling conditions in three concentration camps.
His father, Leo, was betrayed while working for the resistance and was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942. Now Steven’s granddaughter, Maggie Fleet is a speaker for the charity Generation 2 Generation and tells her Opa’s story.
The educational charity Generation 2 Generation (G2G) aims to raise awareness of the Holocaust and to create empathy, especially amongst young people. We want to challenge all forms of discrimination and prejudice and create a greater understanding of the plight of refugees.
We want, also, to combat Holocaust denial and promote greater tolerance of ‘the other’.
These are highly ambitious aims, but ones we must not lose sight of in our current political and social situation, in which antisemitism and other forms of racism are once again a threat. One that can be best combated in the long term by education.
Why another Holocaust organization
You may be wondering why we need yet another Holocaust organization. Those that exist already recognize fully that in ten or fifteen years’ time the current dedicated group of survivor speakers, already in their 80s and 90s, may no longer be with us to talk about their experiences of surviving persecution. The question arises of what we, the next generation, can pass on from those who have passed on.
We do not want to replace existing speakers but believe that it is vital that the next generation should be ready to take over the work of their parents. So that their unique memories will not be lost to young people in the future.
Our aim is to supplement the pool of first-generation survivors with well-prepared, high — quality second and third generation presenters who will make full use of modern multimedia, to engage the attention and spark the empathy of today’s teenagers. Critics will say that this is just not the same as hearing a prime historical account, and in some ways they will be right. It can never be the same. A second-generation speaker can, however, bring something else. The voice may be stronger and more dynamic, while the emotion and passion that stem from the close family link are still maintained.
Steven Frank and his granddaughters, photo G2G
A key feature of our work is the use of testimony from survivors, and this is integrated with the comments of their children or grandchildren, thus ensuring personal authenticity. We do not, however, neglect historical accuracy and make use of our own expert historical advisor to check our facts and figures, so that no fuel is provided for Holocaust deniers.
Since Generation 2 Generation was formed, some five years ago, we have trained and supported 34 speakers (and the number is still growing) who can deliver powerful and engaging presentations to groups of young people, or adults.
This increase from an initial five speakers is staggering. It reflects the ongoing demand from institutions for a powerful and personal means of conveying the horrors of the Holocaust and the message of tolerance towards all ethnicities and nationalities, as well as towards sexuality and disability. Since September last year we have spoken to over 300 groups in 250 organizations and have reached more than 65,000 people, both young and old.
Steven Frank’s key message is that he does not hold hatred in his heart.
Steven Frank escaped to Britain at the age of nine and is now in his late 80s. He is wholly supportive of his granddaughter’s determination to carry on telling his story to future generations. His key message is that he does not hold hatred in his heart. You can hear more about his life and about Generation 2 Generation at Limmoed, Amsterdam.
If you would like to book a talk for your school, or other organization, we can easily arrange to do this by Zoom – or indeed by an in-person visit from the UK. Please contact us at this email.
We look forward to seeing you at Amsterdam Limmoed on 18th February.
Dit jaar vindt Limmoed plaats op zondag 18 februari. Limmoed staat open voor iedereen die kennis wil maken met de Joodse traditie, wetenschap en cultuur.
Zie het programma van Limmoed 2024
cover: Helen Stone lectures for G2G