HOLOCAUST survivor Josef Perl came to a Marlow school today to warn a new generation of children about the mistakes of the past.

Mr Perl lived to tell the tale of the Dachau concentration camp among others as well as the horrors of Auschwitz.

Pupils from Sir William Borlase's Grammar School sat rivetted to their seats as he told tales of hatred, beatings and mass extermination.

He said: "It's important because you have to learn from the past. If you don't, you have no future.

"The children I speak to will carry the future, and I beg that they will build a better world for themselves and their children."

Mr Perl, originally from Czechoslovakia, said that his middle class Jewish family was rounded up by soldiers in 1942 when he was only 11.

His mother, his father and his eight sisters were driven into cattle trucks by armed men with dogs and taken to a series of camps.

Mr Perl spoke of how he watched as his mother and four of his sisters were shot by Nazi soldiers in Polish woodland.

He also told of how he imagined faces rising up in the smoke that billowed from the ovens where up to four million Jews, Poles and Gypsies were incinerated.

Students packed the theatre at Borlase's, filling it to its capacity of more than 200. After the lecture, they were given an opportunity to talk with Mr Perl about the horrific experiences that he endured.

Borlase pupil Amy Thwaites, 14, from Cookham, said: "It was very moving and very inspirational.

"Hearing about it will stop us from making the same mistakes again."

Rhys Evans, 14, from Marlow, said: "I think it's important to talk to eye witnesses. If people were there, they can actually say what it was that they saw."

Mr Perl, 79, now lives in Bushey, Hertfordshire. He has spoken at Borlase's four times, and tours the country to tell his story.

He said that he has received 30,000 letters from children who have listened to him speak, and plans to donate them to a museum.

He said: "As long as I have breath in my body I will carry on speaking to children."