A group of St. Dominic’s students have visited Nazi death camp Auschwitz as part of a project aimed at helping youngsters understand the Holocaust and its relevance today.
The Year 12 students visited the camp for a day and took part in half-day sessions before and after the trip to increase their knowledge of one of the most horrific events in world history.
Their teacher, Coriarna Morris, said the trip was arranged as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s groundbreaking Lessons from Auschwitz Project.
“We visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former Nazi concentration and death camps – probably the most infamous associated with the Holocaust,” she said.
“It proved to be a very thought-provoking trip for the girls but an experience they got a lot from and one that will no doubt make a lasting impression.
“Before the trip they attended a half day seminar where they heard from a Holocaust survivor and got an idea of Jewish life in the years before World War ll, which helped them prepare for their visit.
“They then flew to Poland for the day where they were taken to Oswiecim, the town where the concentration and death camps were located, before going on to view several barracks and seeing personal items like piles of shoes, clothes and hair taken from the prisoners as they entered the camps.
“They made the short journey to Birkenau – the location most of us associate with the word Auschwitz and the place where most of the murders took place. The tour ended with a ceremony next to the destroyed crematoria at the camp, the lighting of candles, readings and a short period of reflection.
“On their return, the girls took part in another half-day seminar where they were able to reflect and talk about the experience, discussing the relevance of the lessons of the Holocaust in today’s world.”
Over the last 20 years more than 37,000 students and teachers have taken part in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project based on the premise that ‘hearing is not like seeing’.
The project is aimed at increasing knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust for young people with the focus on the reality of what can happen if racism and prejudice become the acceptable norm.