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YEAR 12 STUDENTS VISIT AUSCHWITZ

Government-backed programme sends two A-level History students to Poland to learn about the Holocaust. 

The Broxbourne School has been fortunate enough to receive Government funding for two Year 12 History students, Victoria Crook and Natalie Vujasin, to travel to Auschwitz.

The girls took part in the 'Lessons from Auschwitz Project' which consisted of the visit to the Polish concentration camp and two seminars where they learned about the Holocaust.  They were also privileged to hear a survivor speak about their terrible experiences.  The government-funded project aims to encourage young people to examine where unchecked prejudice and discrimination can lead  and to pass these lessons on to their peers.  

The course explores the universal lessons of the Holocaust and its relevance today.  Mrs Martino (Head of History) said "It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to be part of this programme as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau."

Victioria and Natalie found the trip both moving and thought provoking, and look forward to passing on their experiences to the school's younger pupils through assemblies and class visits. 

Having returned from the visit, Natalie has written a moving reflection on her experience:

"Before visiting Auschwitz, I was haunted by the idea that 1.1 million Jews had been killed in these camps so mercilessly.  While this figure still disturbs me, visiting Auschwitz led me to consider the tragedy much more intensely, and led me to remember that it was not just a figure, but real, innocent people who had suffered. 

Walking the paths in the camps was nothing other than harrowing.  Although visiting Auschwitz felt surreal, as if we shouldn't be there, the experience led me to consider the events in a way that is often forgotten, and pay tribute to the innocent lives that have been lost, and which should never be forgotten.  Man's inhumanity to man can never be understood, and never justified. 

When I saw the pictures and possessions, I saw the innocent lives that were taken, and the families that were destroyed.  I had never before considered the pain and the suffering each victim had gone through in the same way, and although the experience is tainted and surreal, there is no match for the in sight and perspective gained."