Holocaust Survivor shares his story with Year 9 students

On Monday 12th November, sixty Year 9 students were privileged in having the opportunity to listen to the story of Mr Alf Keiles, a Holocaust survivor, when he visited St Clement Danes School.

Miss Sacks, Subject Leader of Religious Studies said, ‘Alf had an amazing story. He told the students of an occasion when he shook hands with Hitler during his campaign to get into power.  Alf spoke of his persecution as a Jew. He told the students that by the age of 8 he had been assaulted many times and even stabbed twice, resulting in life long scars, due to the fact he was identified as a Jew.

When Alf was nine he travelled to Genoa with his twelve year old sister to try and take refuge in South Africa. They waited for the boat for four days, but then they received the news that South Africa was no longer taking Jewish children. Alf and his sister then travelled to Southampton, and, after waiting four days, discovered that one boat load of children was going to be allowed to enter South Africa. Therefore, Alf and his sister returned to Genoa, and were successfully evacuated to South Africa, where they subsequently settled.'

Miss Sacks added that Alf is a fascinating character, and the students were captivated by his story. Alf also has a passion for music, and is well known within the world of jazz.

Thank you to Mr Keiles for sharing his story with our students. It was a privilege for our students and staff to meet him. We are also grateful to Alf’s son, Glen, for helping to arrange the visit. Alf’s granddaughter attends St Clement Danes School and the three family members are shown in the photographs of Mr Keiles’ visit.




Category / All Articles