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Activity 7: Britain and the Legacy of Loss: Part One

Age group:

Years 7-11 (ages 12-16)

Progression Steps 4 and 5

This activity introduces students to the experience of Holocaust survivors and the legacy of loss they experienced in the aftermath of Nazi persecution and World War 2. Students will watch the video testimony of Irene Kirstein Watts, a Kindertransport refugee, to reflect on the challenges she faced and to broaden their understanding of the meaning of the term ‘survivor’.


The activity also explores some of the complexities of Britain’s response to news of Jewish persecution and murder before the war. In particular, students will analyse extracts of the UK parliamentary debate in 1938, which led to the Kindertransport program. This provides a picture of British society at the time and the political and social context which Jewish refugees faced on arrival to the UK.


To be best able to understand this activity, it is recommended that students first complete Activity 5: The Legal Effect: How Laws can Persecute or Protect.


This lesson can be completed as a standalone class or as part one of a two-part course of study. The second part of the lesson is set out in Activity 7: Britain and the Legacy of Loss – Part 2.

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