Students were stunned when they had the chance to hear the haunting stories of a Holocaust survivor.

Mindu Hornick MBE, 95, who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp as a young girl, spoke to students at Perryfields Academy in Oldbury about her experiences on Wednesday, February 28.

The visit was organised through The Holocaust Educational Trust's outreach programme, with year nine students hearing how Mrs Hornick was forced out of her home in Slovakia in 1942 and sent with her family to the camp.



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She spoke of how, upon reaching the camp, her mother sending both her and her sister ahead saved their lives.

As a result the girls were sent to work as slave labourers rather than die in the gas chamber.

Mrs Hornick never saw her mother and brothers again.

Perryfields' headteacher, Clare Harris, said: "You could tell by a lot of the students’ faces that they couldn’t believe what they were hearing and what Mindu went through.

“I think the story resonated with many of the students, and they’ll walk away realising the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they’ve had today.

"It was an absolute honour and a privilege to hear Mindu speak.”

She added: “Our school is at the heart of a diverse community, so Mindu’s message of tolerance and kindness is an essential one.

“We also have children here who have literally joined us from war-torn areas around the world – so Mindu’s words really are relevant, even though her experiences were so many decades ago.”

The school has said that Mrs Hornick's talk had a "profound" effect on pupils.

She took the students through her journey from Auschwitz to a munitions factory in Hamburg, with several bone-chilling experiences along the way.

She spoke of her terrifying encounters with the infamous 'Angel of Death', Josef Mengele, and her evasion of several near-death experiences before eventually settling in Birmingham after being liberated by the Allies.

Mrs Hornick said: "They were lovely children – they asked some very good questions.’

“I do what I do because of what’s going on in the world.

"My message is always the same: to be tolerant, to stand up for those being persecuted, and never to hate."