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Trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Miss Khanom alongside two Year 13 students Arjan and George took a one day visit to Poland. The authentic memorial consists of two parts of the former camp: Aushwitz and Birkenau. The visit with the Holocaust Educational Trust was a very informative journey.

“At the crack of dawn we went to Stansted Airport, ready to start the long day ahead. We arrived at Krakow at 9.00am, we began learning about early Jewish life and walked through the city centre. Auschwitz was shocking, it is one thing to read about the piles of children's shoes and the two metric tons of human hair but to actually see them was almost unbearable. The cruelty and sadism that took place in the prison block defies belief, we all left block 11 feeling genuinely upset.

The experience was harrowing and the feeling of walking through the last footsteps of thousands of people remains with you with every step you take. Both Arjan and George were incredibly mature, Arjan was selected as one of the readers to commemorate the lives lost.

To conclude the trip we lit candles after the Rabbi gave a thought provoking speech about the sheer horror of the past and what we can do to stand together against such atrocities.

One particular phrase that stuck was the idea that we are all ‘Jewish’, we are all victims of some form of oppression whether this may be internally and externally. The Rabbi instructed us to pick up our phone and message someone letting them know why we appreciate and love them. This part of the speech truly bought tears to your eyes.

I would definitely recommend visiting, but be prepared to be deeply affected by it.”

Miss Khanom

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