At the beginning of term, a group of 18 students and three staff members left on a three-day-trip they had been planning for a year, to Krakow in Poland, and to the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. This trip was open to students starting Year 9 this autumn, as they will be working on a big project about World War II in their lessons.
Impressions from students after they came home include that they learned a lot, and gained much better insight, perspective, and understanding about the Holocaust. On the first day, the students had an informative guided tour in Krakow, that gave background historical information. On the second day, the group had a guided tour in Auschwitz in the morning, and what they saw and learned they say was inhumane, deeply sad, and simply incomprehensible. They were glad that the afternoon’s visit to Birkenau held less information and more time to think and reflect. Even though it was a very intense day that included many kilometers of walking, the students were so moved they didn’t even notice, they say. On the last day, students could choose activities, and some went to the old salt mine, and some walked around town. This day also gave students more time to think, and also to see more of Krakow of today.
All in all, the students were very satisfied with the trip and what they had experienced, even if much of it was also difficult. The impressions and knowledge will stay with them, and they recommend making this trip to anyone who has the opportunity to do so.