Jewish and Basque Refugee History Project

The Refuge in Cambridge – A Tale of Two Hostels project, initiated last September culminated in a public exhibition at the West Road Concert Hall, CB3 9DP, on Thursday 30th March. The exhibition showcased what the students at Parkside and the Red Balloon Learner Centre had discovered about the hidden heritage behind two buildings used as refugee hostels during World War II. One, at 25 Parkside, was used for young Jewish refugee teenagers fleeing Nazi persecution and the other at 21, Station Road, for Basque country refugee children fleeing the Spanish Civil War. The exhibition included display panels, a booklet, music, dance, oral recitations and a film put together by the students documenting the project’s evolution. There were also some participants of the Kindertransport programme itself who spoke about their experiences.

The project gathered some considerable interest within and outside Parkside, as many of the students were filmed for BBC Look East and for Cambridge TV as well as Mr Turner appearing on BBC Cambridgeshire Radio promoting the event alongside Gerald Weiner, a Kindertransport refugee.

It was an extraordinary and moving evening with a large number of parents, teachers and friends in attendance. A huge thanks to Leslie Ford, Mike Levy, Maria Almeida, Alexa Minett and Mark Turner for putting on this wonderful project that enabled our Parkside students to learn about a hidden aspect of Cambridge’s history. Their experiences have developed them further as inquiring and thoughtful young people who can reflect deeply on the nature of extremist beliefs in the past and connect that to the modern world where such beliefs are still so common. A school display and student assemblies will take place after Easter, allowing our students to reflect on their experiences and share them with the rest of the student body. Participating students were :

Douglas Tennant, Sebastian Dhillon, Lily Fowke-Green, Chantelle Carreras-Coves, Flora Timney, Hannah Volland, Josh Simon, Jacob Manda, Elora Graham, Pooja Reddy, Annie Hsieh, Dorian Allwood, Nina Bartels, Emilia Pryzwara, Alfie Vine, Ted Watts.

     

     

 

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