On my trip with the Holocaust Educational Trust and the lessons from Auschwitz programme, we visited Poland to experience the sight and location pf the persecution of Jews by Nazi Germany. After getting off the plane we travelled for an hour from Krakow to Oswiecim, the Polish town which in German is Auschwitz, and we were shown photos and told about how the majority of the 70% Jewish population had flourished in Oswiecim prior to WWII, co-existing and being integrated with the local Catholics.

We were shown images of the Nazis marching Jewish citizens out of their homes for “relocation,” we then travelled to Auschwitz 1, which has the famous “Work will set you free,” sign above its entrance, to deceive the people they may leave in time. We toured the sight, saw images, possessions such as glasses, shoes and we also were shown the gas chamber of Auschwitz.

Then after a short bus journey to the Birkenau section, we got to see the enormous size of the camp, we were shown the horrible conditions and the remnants of the big gas chambers as the Nazis destroyed much of the camp as they fled, and we even saw the foundations of more chambers under constructions before the Nazis fled. We also saw the memorial built in honour of the victims and at the end of the day lit candles in remembrance as part of an emotional ceremony led by a visiting Rabbi.

Jude Smith – Year 13


Jude along with Olivia McClurg and Mr Quinn attended Auschwitz- Birkenau on a trip organised and part funded by the Holocaust Educational Trust.