On Thursday 27 January, to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, the School was privileged once again to welcome Kenneth Appel into School via Teams to give a talk about his life. Kenneth was born into a Jewish family in Germany in the last 1920s and enjoyed a happy childhood until the advent of the Nazi regime.
Kenneth gave an incredibly vivid account of the impact of the casual anti-Semitism that he experienced in and out of school. As anti-Semitic laws increased and life became incredibly difficult for him and his family, Kenneth’s mother successfully applied for him to travel to Britain as part of the Kindertransport refugee scheme. He was amongst the last of the children to arrive here on the scheme in 1939 and described in harrowing terms how members of his family and school friends who did not make it out of Germany, were eventually murdered by the Nazis. Kenneth always finishes his talk by describing how he settled in the UK and went on to have a career in the NHS, marry his wife Beulah, and have children and grandchildren. Perhaps the most moving aspect of his talk was that Kenneth explained his experiences in such a matter-of-fact way, making it absolutely clear what the Holocaust must mean to us all today.