“He’s dead and I’m still alive.”

On Friday 17th May our Year 10 students had a special assembly. Bob Narev – an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor – came to our school and gave a presentation about his experience as a German Jewish person during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a major event that took place during World War II. Jewish people were discriminated against and many even ended up in concentration or death camps. Bob Narev has given over 100 presentations to various groups which he usually does with his wife Freda, who is also a Holocaust survivor. Bob’s main reason for his speeches is to educate young Kiwis and make sure we learn about what happened.

The Holocaust was the discrimination and mass murder of millions of European Jews during World War II by the German Nazis. Germany’s dictator Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” resulted in approximately six million Jewish people being killed. Over one million of them were children. Fortunately, Bob and his wife survived and can share their experiences with us.

As students from Rangitoto College, who got the amazing opportunity to listen to a Holocaust survivor’s stories firsthand, we were truly amazed by his story and his perspective. This gave us a better understanding of what had happened during World War Ⅱ, as one of our Term 2 Junior Social Science topics is the Holocaust. Ultimately, we learned a lot and are extremely grateful that our school has provided us with this opportunity. One quote that stood out to me during the talk was when a student asked, “Did you ever meet Hitler?” He replied, “The only time I saw him was when I was living in New Zealand and there was a Listener article about the Holocaust. On the magazine cover was a big photo of Hitler, with me and Freda in the corner. And I noticed the difference between me and him is that he’s dead and I’m alive.”

Bob is an inspirational man and we would like to thank him for taking the time to talk to us.

Written by Adela Salca and Isabel Krishna (Year 10)