Lessons from Auschwitz Project
Last Thursday Melland High School students Joseph Murray and Declan Hall along with their teacher John Barry were lucky to have the opportunity to travel to Poland to participate in the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz Project’. The four-part course aims to educate us about the events of the holocaust and consider lessons for today.
Teacher John Barry reports that….in order to travel to Poland we all needed passports and European travel health insurance and we spent a tense couple of days waiting for Joe’s passport to arrive, which it did in the nick of time. An early start ensued with a 6:30 flight from Manchester Ringway to Krakow in Poland. Joe had never flown before so was a bit anxious, however at Manchester airport we breezed through security without a hitch. After breakfasting on the plane (not bad, egg and veggie sausage) we arrived with our group of 180 students and travelled to Auschwitz by coach. The morning started out dry but chilly and an ominous cloud descended as we reached the infamous concentration and death camp. It wouldn’t be right to say it was enjoyable being there as the stark realities of the short terrifying lives of the detainees was evidenced and plain to see; the sheer numbers of dead and the scale of the murderous operation is truly shocking. Despite this Declan reported that, “It was a great experience and I’d recommend it to anyone”.
The next part of the project is for Declan and Joe in their new roles as Holocaust Education Trust Ambassadors, to devise a whole school activity or exhibition to tell the stories of the survivors. Although we can quote the huge numbers that died, each of these murdered victims was a living individual like us and the students would like to tell us more about their lives.