Students share their thoughts after visit to site of the Holocaust

Nicoletta and Joshua from St Paul's Catholic School.
Nicoletta and Joshua from St Paul's Catholic School.

Two sixth form history students are sharing their thoughts on what the Holocaust has taught us following their recent participation in an educational visit to Auschwitz.

St Paul’s students Nicoletta Gray and Joshua Evans had the opportunity to meet with a Holocaust survivor and spend a day in Oświęcim, the Polish town where Auschwitz is located, as participants of the Holocaust Education Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project.

After tours of Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau, they experienced a memorable ceremony held next to the destroyed crematoria at Birkenau. This ceremony included readings and a moment of reflection, before each participant lit their own memorial candle.

Nicoletta said: “We’re both passionate about history so taking part in this project was a great way to express our love for the subject and to pay our respects too. It’s helped us to ask new questions and we need to remember that everyone involved was an individual and that this was a man-made disaster.”

Joshua added: “Lessons from Auschwitz gave us a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and the whole experience has made us think about today’s society, how you treat other people and what you can do to make things better.”

During a follow-up seminar, all the participants were asked to find ways to reveal what they had learned to their peers and the wider community.

Nicoletta and Joshua decided to write an article exploring what the Holocaust has taught.

Their article will be published in the school newsletter and is featured on the school website: http://www.st-pauls.org.uk/news /archive/post/145-sixth-formers-learn-lessons-from-auschwitz

An extract reads: “The Holocaust teaches us that no form of discrimination, no matter how small, can be allowed to escalate into something devastating. It warns us that we cannot be inactive just because something does not affect us. We must love those around us in order to better our society.”