Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

 

“There is a danger that we shall forget those things which are better not forgotten. Certainly, some things should be permanently recorded, so that posterity shall know what we would rather erase from our memories.”

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Under the Nazi regime, over eleven million people were killed in concentration and death camps as part of an orchestrated extermination. Six million of these people were Jewish, while homosexuals, communists, the disabled, Catholics and Sinti and Roma peoples were also murdered in unimaginable numbers. At the Miners’, we have used our two exhibition cases (located in Rooms 2 & 3) to place texts that relate to or reflect on the events of the Holocaust. We have also created an informative display board which offers an account of the events that led to the Holocaust, a description of the classification system used in the camps and more information about the religions and minorities that were targeted.

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Some of the items in the collection are contemporary to the events of the genocide. Four Weeks in the Hands of Hitler’s Hell-Hounds was published in 1933 as the account of Communist leaders Hans Beimler, which documents his arrest, imprisonment and escape from the Dachau concentration camp. Hans Beimler would go on to fight with (and die for) the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. His account here is chillingly early in the chronology of the concentration/extermination camps, highlighting that leaked information about the horrors of the Nazi regime did not lead to international political intervention.

Similarly, our copy of  A Worker’s Day Under German Occupation (from the T.J Jones Collection) begins with: “What you read in these pages is no figment of the imagination”. The pamphlet claims to use accounts, reports and materials smuggled out of Poland to depict the life of an average worker Jan Kowalski – “the Polish for John Smith”. Besides a brief mention of ‘Jewish Ghettos’, references to concentration camps are notably absent. Whether this is borne from ignorance of the atrocities or fear of speaking about them is unclear.

Other items are recollections and remembrances, both individual and collective, that emerged in the decades following the Holocaust. From our Will Paynter collection, Reminiscences of Former Auschwitz Prisoners was published in 1963 in by the Auschwitz Museum. This rare book was then translated by Krystyna Michalik and contains several different first-hand accounts of the extermination camp. I Came Back is another individual account of Auschwitz from a female perspective by Krystyna Zywulska.

We also a hold literature  from Holocaust survivor Leon Greenman. Having lived through Auschwitz, losing his wife and young son in the process, Leon dedicated the remainder of his life to educating others about his horrific experiences and campaigning to ensure that Fascism would never gain such a stronghold again. The educational resources he produced, along with audio interviews, are available to borrow from the Miners’.

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Another rare item from the collection – also from T.J Jones – is a pamphlet by A. A Milne called War Withour Honour (1940). It was a response to his earlier work Peace With Honour (1934), in which he denounced war. The pamphlet is a succinct and articulate argument for his change of mind; he repeatedly stresses that his earlier views could not have accounted for the rise of Fascism and the ruthless expansion of the Nazi empire. He states, in what serves as an apt reminder of the many who did not ‘have a place in that world’, that:

I believe that Nazi rule is the foulest abomination with which mankind has ever been faced. I believe that, if is unresisted, it will spread over, and corrupt, the whole world. I believe that no decent man, no humane man, no honest man: no man of courage, intelligence or imagination: no man who has ever had a kindly thought for his neighbour or compassion for the innocent: no lover of truth, no lover of beauty, no lover of God could have a place in that world.

If you would like any more information on these items, please do not hesitate do get in touch with us. The exhibition cases and information board will be in place for the next few weeks for students and visitors to view.

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Exam/Essay stress? Tips, advice and guides from SWML.

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To all students of the Miners’ Library – welcome back!

January is usually a tense and busy time in the academic calendar. For some it involves a period of revision followed by a series of exams; for others it is the start of a new term and preparations for projects further down the line. Queries regarding study space, referencing and turnitin are all common during this time, so we thought dedicating a blog to the resources available to students for these issues would be helpful and (hopefully!) alleviate some stress.

Essays/Exams

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For DACE students, the most comprehensive resource available for upcoming assignments is the STAR handbook, which can be found here. STAR (Study Tips to Achieve Results) is a guide for academic self-improvement which divides into sections like ‘Reading effectively, ‘Making Presentations’ and ‘Grammar and Punctuation’.

As well as this online resource, the Miners’ Library holds a variety of books  about planning, structuring and writing essays. Many of these can be found in the PE section of the library and include titles such as Reflective Writing (PE1014 W5423 2012), Understanding the Essay (PE1417 U54 2012) and The Student’s Writing Guide for the Arts and Social Sciences (PE1478 T38 1989). We’ve also placed a selection of these books on our display shelves next to the entrance (The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagarism, The Study Skills Handbook, etc.) so let us know if you’d like to browse or borrow any of these copies.

If any students have an exam timetable they need to access, a personalised exam timetable can be found in your student intranet under ‘Student Record’ (the intranet is accessed via your MyUni log-in).

Turnitin

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For many, the process of submitting their essays electronically can be as stressful as the act of writing them! This needn’t be the case, as both online instructions and staff should be on hand to guide students through the process. The Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching (SALT) have helpfully provided these bilingual written instructions, along with a short instructional video here.

Study Spaces

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During exam periods, study spaces are apt to get both busy and noisy. The Miners’ Library is a quieter alternative to other campus libraries because of its smaller space and secluded location. We have study areas on the ground and first floors and two PC rooms. Obviously the most exciting news of this month is that we now have a hot drinks/vending machine in the foyer, meaning a walk to the Spar will no longer be necessary for caffeine and sugar related purchases!

Wellbeing

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For students experiencing stress that is impacting on their course, Swansea University’s Wellbeing Service is a fantastic resource. The service offers advice and guidance to improve a students ‘wellbeing’, which is, according to their website:

‘the balance point between an individual’s resource pool and the challenges they face’.

Wellbeing’s services include counselling sessions, workshops and meditation groups. More information can be found here but we have also printed information sheets from well being and placed them in our foyer for students to take.

Please get in touch with us if you have any more questions on the resources raised above – and good luck!