SCHOOL PERFORMANCE

Lessons from Auschwitz

Article published in the Bucks Herald following a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, a trip organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Birkenau gate

After the visit, Cottesloe student Grace Downes said: “It’s been an emotionally draining day – you hear about it all the time but seeing the chambers, the collected human hair and twisted glasses; these all belonged to people who had their own lives, families, and they were stripped and dehumanised simply for a set of beliefs. It’s almost impossible to believe, but it’s something everyone should see and ensure that it never happens again.”

Anum Ilyas also a student at The Cottesloe School, said: “It’s been a very difficult day to be honest. It’s hard to put your feelings into words when you look across the vastness of Birkenau. The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) have tried to humanise it with stories of individual people, and that has given us a sharp insight the everyday life and the atrocities of the Third Reich. These people were treated like animals, and showed immense courage, even sacrificing their meagre food rations to practice their religion.”