School pupils paid a moving tribute last week to 1.5million Jewish children and their family members who were killed during the Holocaust.
Ambassadors and diplomats from six EU countries visited Scoil Chiarain in Glasnevin as the pupils planted a circle of yellow crocuses in a tribute to the yellow star which Jews were forced to wear by Nazis.
Among the visiting delegation was Caryna Camerino from Dublin 15 who described herself as “a third generation Holocaust survivor”.
Caryna, who runs a successful bakery in south Dublin, told the pupils the story of her grandfather Enzo Camerino, an Italian living in Rome who was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Enzo was rounded up with his parents and his extended family on the night of October 16, 1943 and deported to the concentration camp where most of his family were killed.
He and his brother escaped as prisoners when being marched into a woods towards the end of the war. Enzo returned to Rome, married and eventually emigrated to Canada where he kept his Jewish heritage a secret – even from his children.
He broke his silence to give interviews for the Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List and went on to become a vocal campaigner to tell others what had happened to the Jews.
Caryna moved to Dublin 15 years ago and shares her family’s experiences whenever she can.
Scoil Chiarain is a school for children with learning disabilities and the students were told how people with disabilities were among the first victims of the Nazis.
The Crocus Project sees the Holocaust Education Trust provide yellow-flowering crocus bulbs for young people and school pupils aged 11 and over.
The Irish initiative has grown from 6,000 participants in its first year to over 110,000 school children across 12 EU countries expected to participate this year.
The crocus blooms at the end of January – around the time of Holocaust Memorial Day, on January 27.