Auschwitz Trip

Lessons from Auschwitz - On the 2nd of November 2017,  Kharis Dunsby(Year 12) and Emma Jones (Year 13) received the amazing opportunity to attend a one day visit to Auschwitz concentration camp, in Poland. Organised by the Holocaust education trust, we had a chartered flight to Krakow. Kharis and I both did not know how to feel before getting there; should we have felt excited or apprehensive? We arrived and headed straight for the town of Oświęcim. This really set the scene as we were all impacted by the pondering question of how a place that seemed so ordinary could have been the centre of a huge genocide. We then went to Auschwitz One, the camp which was mainly a labour camp. Here we saw the sheer mass of the belongings of the people sent to Auschwitz. The amount of belongings really made the numbers seem like a reality. Seeing them in real life made each victim seem important and encouraged us to see the victims as individuals. We then travelled to Auschwitz Birkenau, the place where most of the mass murders occurred. This had a very eerie atmosphere; it was huge, stretching 1.71 kilometres squared. Because we were with the Holocaust Education Trust, we stayed there until nightfall and had a moving ceremony to remember all those who were lost because of the Holocaust. Here most of the students and teachers from schools around the North West who joined us seemed very emotional, including Kharis and me. The plane journey home, for me, was a beneficial time to reflect on all we had seen and heard. We all need to understand the past and how we should use the memory of this horrific event to shape a society in which democracy and social justice exist for all, so I would encourage you to go if you ever receive the chance. Archbishop Blanch students, as citizens of the future, should never allow this to happen again.

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