Unforgettable trip to Auschwitz

Posted on: 15/09/2017

At the end of last term, five Year 12 History students had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz, Krakow. Although it was a short trip, they got to participate in an unforgettable experience, attempting to understand the indescribable atrocities that occurred there.  

The students have beautifully summarised the trip:

“During the trip I was given an opportunity to visit Auschwitz 1 and 2. In Auschwitz 1, I was not only able to see the camp, but also the treatment of innocent people. From looking at a room overflowing with personal items salvaged from the victims’ belongings, such as shoes (ranging from infant to adult sizes), to standing in another room filled with piles of women’s hair that was usually cut off and sold to make material. These rooms were truly horrific and never before have I witnessed such tragedy. The most memorable experience was entering a gas chamber, where previously 1000s walked unknowingly to their deaths. In Auschwitz 2, I witnessed the mass scale of the Holocaust. Viewing the conditions people were forced to live in, based on others intolerance, was truly remarkable. Walking in the heat for 3 hours really took its toll on me and to then imagine those who were forced to do it every day as a job for much longer, was horrendous. One of the most saddening experiences was entering a children’s camp block and looking at all the pictures draw on the walls. This trip was not only moving, but educational. On this trip I learnt so much more than I would ever have been able to read in books.”

“There is so much that I’ve learnt on this trip, along with many things that can only be truly understood once seen in person; such as the sheer size of the camps we visited. Our guide was extremely helpful and passionate about getting us to understand the severity of the Holocaust with his use of personal stories from survivors. There is no doubt that I now have a changed perspective of the impact of the Holocaust and of the level of cruelty placed upon those millions of innocent lives. I now believe it is important for anyone who hasn’t already visited the Auschwitz camps, to see for themselves and learn a about the cost of intolerance plaguing a nation.”

The students who attended will be presenting to new sixth form students during an assembly this term detailing their experiences. They hope that their newly founded knowledge and understanding will help to continue the school’s promotion of the importance of tolerance and equality in our society. I hope that the school will have the opportunity to take more sixth form students in near future, as it would be extremely beneficial for them to extend  their knowledge and understanding.