Over the course of a three-week programme, students attended two seminars and undertook a day trip to Poland to visit the town of Oświęcim, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz Birkenau.
During the first seminar, students discussed what life was like for the Jewish people before World War Two.
During the visit to Poland on 18th October 2018, we were first taken to 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. While in Oświęcim, we visited a Jewish museum and synagogue where we saw how normal Jewish lives were before World War Two. We were then shown several barracks at Auschwitz I - registration of inmates and items seized from the prisoners as they entered the camp. Following this, we visited Auschwitz Birkenau, where we saw the remnants of barracks, crematoria and gas chambers. The tour of Birkenau culminated in a memorable ceremony held next to one of the destroyed crematoria. The ceremony included readings, a moment of reflection and ended with the students lighting memorial candles.
During the final seminar of the project, the students discussed how they felt visiting the sights of the Holocaust and how they would use their experience to teach people about their experiences. The students found that this was a very rewarding experience as it helped deepen their knowledge and understanding of the events and experiences of people involved in the Holocaust.