A Level History students at Nelson and Colne College had the opportunity to hear a heart-wrenching first-hand account from a Holocaust survivor.

Joanna Millan spoke at NCC about her extraordinary life from her birth in Berlin as Bela Rosenthal in August 1942, to surviving horrendous conditions in a concentration camp, to her courage of later going and discovering her family history.

Students expressed how the visit helped in enhancing their classroom studies, and how Joanna’s tale had left them feeling reflective and engaged.

Emily Holt, 17, said: “I loved reading about it but it is brought so close to home when you meet somebody face to face.

“It was fascinating. I really get excited about visits like this.”

And Tom Holden, 19, added: “It was really interesting. She has lived with the aftermath of the Holocaust, and while she might not necessarily remember it, she lived through it and was born during it. It was very thought provoking.”


Joanna has been telling her story for 25 years and still feels it is important to continue visiting schools and universities.

She said: “It is something that really did happen.

“It’s worthwhile. Everyone has a role to play. You can make a difference. That is what I feel I can do.”

Curriculum Leader for English, Humanities and Languages Ed Fuller said: “We are very grateful to Joanna and the Holocaust Educational Trust for the opportunity to hear her testimony.

“We have had the privilege of working with the HET for the past two years and greatly appreciate the vitally important work that they do.

“Joanna’s testimony was deeply personal and many students have commented on the impact that this had on their own view of history.

“History remains a vitally important subject, offering students the opportunity to discuss and debate highly controversial issues that continue to impact the world to this day.

“We look forward to continuing this relationship with the HET for a long time, allowing all students the opportunity to hear this testimony.”

The next Year 11 Open Event at Nelson and Colne College takes place on Wednesday 1st February, between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. For more information about studying at NCC contact 01282 440272 or visit www.nelson.ac.uk