STUDENTS have been learning about the horrors of the holocaust from a woman who survived Hitler’s Germany.

Author Sylvia Hurst (née Fleischer) visited North Durham Academy in Stanley, on Friday (January 24) to talk to students about her experience as a Jew growing up in Nazi Germany.

The 91-year-old spoke about her childhood in the years during which Hitler came to power, which saw the fearful rise of Nazism and the brainwashing of a nation which led to the extermination of six million Jewish people.

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She survived as she was fortunate enough to be on one of the last children’s transport trains before World War II, at the age of 17, with her siblings, but never saw her parents again.

Mrs Hurst was moved to England and eventually lived in Tantobie, near Stanley, where she ran her own pub and restaurant.

Charlotte Handy, from North Durham Academy, said: “The students, who are currently studying the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, sat and listened so quietly and attentively.

“When given the opportunity they asked Sylvia questions such as: What were the conditions like? What happened to your parents? How long did it take to get to England? How many children were on the train?

“Sylvia answered each of their questions so eloquently, with such moving detail, that they all gained a really powerful insight into Nazi Germany."

The visit was timed to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow (Monday).