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Yorkshire and Humber schools visit to Auschwitz
Rachel and students from Swallow Hill Community College and Abbey Grange returned from the Holocaust Educational Trust’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday 10th March vowing to act on the lessons learned from the experience.
Rachel joined more than 200 other post-16 students from around Yorkshire and Humberside on the Project, a unique opportunity to learn about what happened at Auschwitz-Birkenau, to pay respect to those who lost their lives, and to explore the universal lessons of the Holocaust and its relevance for today.
Students first visited Osweicim, the town where the Auschwitz death and concentration camps were located and where before the war, 58% of the population was Jewish. Students then visited Auschwitz I to see the former camp’s barracks and crematoria and witnessing the piles of belongings that were seized by the Nazis. Finally they spent time at the main killing centre of Birkenau where the day concluded with candle lighting and a period of reflection to remember the 6 million Jews, and the Roma, Sinti, gay, disabled, black people, and other victims of the Nazis killed in the Holocaust.
Rachel said: "This was a profoundly moving and valuable experience for me, and I know that the students will take a lot from it. These events may have taken place over 60 years ago but as our society bears witness; we need to continue to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to the younger generations in order to fight bigotry and hatred today."
Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said:
“We are delighted that Rachel joined us on the visit with students from Leeds West. The Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project is such a vital part of our work because it not only gives students the chance to learn about the Holocaust but to understand the dangers and potential effects of prejudice and racism today on a local and national scale.”