A one-woman play about a holocaust victim took centre stage to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in Enfield

Susan Stein performed her one-woman play for audiences at the Dugdale Centre

Susan Stein performed her one-woman play for audiences at the Dugdale Centre

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Children watched an emotive one-woman play about a Holocaust victim as part of commemorations of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Pupils packed into the Dugdale Centre in London Road, Enfield Town, to witness the play based on the diaries and letters of Esther Hillesum, known as Etty.

Actress Susan Stein told the story of a young Jewish student from Amsterdam sent to work at Westerbork transit camp before she was eventually taken to the Auschwitz Nazi German concentration camp in occupied Poland, where she died in November 1943.

Following the play, pupils from St Anne’s, Highlands and Enfield County schools were able to ask Ms Stein about how she played the role.

She said: “When I first started reading her work I thought how into herself she was but after a while I didn’t want to let go of her, I had never had that with a book and I have stayed with her. It is great to be with her.

“It was very emotional today, I am not sure why, it can be different each time.”

Members of Enfield Borough Council were also in the audience. Councillor Derek Levy said: “What the writing of Etty Hillesum and what you heard today promotes issues such as social justice and challenges prejudice, things which are very common today.

“I wanted to thank her very much to Susan for a very emotive performance and for coming to Enfield. The play provides such powerful, thought-provoking insights into how someone comes to terms with the human capacity for good and evil. I certainly found it very moving an evocative and I was gripped by your every word.”

Council leader Cllr Doug Taylor said: “Holocaust Memorial Day alerts us to the atrocities of genocides – whether they happened over 70 years ago or in more recent times.

“It is a sharp reminder of the violent extremes that produce such human disasters. And among the chaos, brave people have recorded their experiences and told the world the truth.

“I am proud that Enfield marks Holocaust Memorial Day, bringing generations together to learn from the past and to ensure that we build stronger communities that can live together in the future.”

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