Rev Hendrie told those
gathered that the theme for Holocaust Memorial
Day this year was “Journeys” and he invited
Carrick Academy school captains, Claire Bryan
and Euan Andrew, to read the life stories of
journeys that brought survivors to the UK.
Euan read the story of Freddie Knoller who was
17 years old when the Nazis entered Austria in
1938 and he was forced to leave his parental
home for the first time. He illegally entered
Belgium, and after being held in various camps
in Belgium and France, he was ultimately
deported to Auschwitz concentration camp.
Forced on a death march from Auschwitz to
Bergen-Belsen, Freddie was liberated by the
British in April 1945.
Claire read the story of Var Ashe Houston who
was born in Cambodia and was 26 years old when
the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. She was
married with two young daughters and was working
as an English teacher in Phnom Penh, the capital
of Cambodia, when the Khmer Rouge took control
of the city.
On 17 April 1975, Khmer Rouge forces entered the
capital city, and seized Phnom Penh marking the
beginning of Genocide in Cambodia. The Khmer
Rouge believed that Cambodia should be returned
to an alleged ‘golden age’ when the land was
cultivated by peasants and the country would be
ruled for and by the poorest amongst society.
They wanted all members of society to be rural
agricultural workers rather than educated city
It marked the beginning of almost four years of
terror as the Khmer Rouge turned Cambodia into a
vast concentration camp.
Piper Scott Barrie played the traditional lament
and poppy crosses were laid.