Four learners from Level 3 Public Services recently took part in the latest ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project. They attended an orientation seminar, facilitated by a Holocaust Educational Trust educator, where the group discussed their reasons for taking part in the Project, their expectations, preconceptions and the potential impact that the visit may have on them.
The students then visited Oświęcim, the town where the Auschwitz concentration and death camps were located and where the local Jewish community lived prior to the start of the Second World War. The groups were then shown several barracks at Auschwitz I – registration documents of inmates, piles of hair, shoes, clothes and other items seized from the prisoners as they entered the camps. Participants are then taken the short distance to Birkenau. This is the site that most people associate with the word “Auschwitz” and where the vast majority of victims were murdered.
The remnants of barracks, crematoria and gas chambers are in stark contrast to Auschwitz I. The tour of Birkenau culminates in a memorable ceremony held next to the destroyed crematoria. The ceremony includes readings, a moment of reflection and ends with all participants lighting memorial candles.
In a follow-up seminar, students discussed their visit, their personal responses and the impact it had on them and the contemporary relevance of the Holocaust and how they might go about sharing what they have learnt and experienced on to others in their school or community.
Our students are required to disseminate what they have learned to their peers and wider community. As a result of participating in the Project, students become Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassadors in their own communities, raising awareness of the Holocaust and challenging prejudice and racism today.
For more information about the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum please see here…http://auschwitz.org/en/