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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

Student Testimonials

Below are some testimonies from our recent and current students.


Postgraduate Students
Students learning

Stash Kozlowski

"My initial interest arose out of a personal passion to find out more about my heritage and my parents' experiences in Poland; furthered by my children's desire to know more about their background. This was coupled with a long-standing interest in Israel and the historical fate of Polish Jewry.

I decided to enrol on what transpired to be an excellent course in Jewish Relations, run by Dr Helen Spurling. I found the course both intellectually and emotionally stimulating, with an opportunity to hear key speakers in their field and a follow-up with debates. The course raised many new aspects for me, such as classifying Jewish identities, the role of Jewish artists and exploring Jewish, Christian and Muslim relations."


Jasmine Piper

"The holocaust is something I have been aware of since the start of my secondary education and as I got older my knowledge grew. The facts and figures I have come across during my History studies have shocked me. As I looked deeper into individual case studies and testimonies, I discovered the true emotion behind the facts and figures and I have been upset, horrified, moved and even inspired by people's stories of their time inside the cruel Nazi regime and the camps. It wasn't just the horror stories of cattle trains, broken families and unjustifiable deaths that made me feel this way. I was inspired that the victims who suffered this brutality were able to tell their story and ‘speak up and speak out'. On Holocaust Memorial Day this January I shall not only remember the horror and utter sadness but also the bravery and fortitude of the victims of this mass genocide."

Parkes Event
Parkes Event

Emily Gaebler

"Our language lacks words to express this offence' - this quote stood out to me while reading some of the accounts of people caught up in the Holocaust. It is one thing to read of events and figures of those who died in a textbook, but it is something altogether more harrowing to hear and read of personal stories, when numbers become names, and accounts become lives. For me to claim even a vague understanding of the suffering these people endured would almost be pretentious, as even now after everything has come to light, we know nothing about what they really went through. It is so incredibly important to remember this extermination of people and ‘Speak Up, Speak Out', not only so that it does not happen again, but to try to repay some of what was taken from them, for to forget them would be almost as big an offence."

Students at Avenue Campus

Suzanne Fletcher

"I have had a long interest in Jewish Studies but was very nervous about taking this course as I had been out of formal learning for many years, but it was one of the best decisions I've made. The course content was excellent with wonderful lecturers who so obviously loved their particular field that their enthusiasm was contagious. Questions were encouraged and the debates at the end of each session only stopped because of the time. Quite often I would still be talking with colleagues in the car park long after the session had finished.

I found many windows opening in front of me that I had never considered before and each session left me wanting to find out more and eagerly looking forward to the following week. Dr Helen Spurling chaired each session besides leading the sessions on her own speciality, and was always available for guidance or any queries."

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