Lessons from Auschwitz Project

On Wednesday 11th October, Phoebe Tuzio, Zainab Ali, Jessica Hill and Chloe-Mae Bedicer from Year 12 visited Poland as part of the Lessons from Auschwitz Project. Since 1999, over 41,000 students and teachers have taken part in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project. Based on the premise that ‘hearing is not like seeing’, this four-part course explores the universal lessons of the Holocaust and its relevance for today. The LFA Project aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust for young people and to clearly highlight what can happen if prejudice and racism become acceptable. Our pupils were able to experience the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum through a one-day visit to Poland and share their experiences via follow up seminars. All four students have spoken about what a memorable experience the project has been and the numerous lessons they’ve learned from the visit – Chloe and Zainab have written about their experience below. 

“The Lessons from Auschwitz project is an opportunity for selected pupils of schools across Greater Manchester to come together, learn about the Holocaust and later share their extended knowledge to others. I believe it’s important to educate ourselves on key events that have shaped the world we live in today, and the Lessons from Auschwitz project does this well through their endless effort to continue the stories of first-hand survivors of the Holocaust, as well as visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps to highlight how harrowing it was. Learning about historical events in active ways puts their scale to reality and helps us develop deeper understanding, as well as showing the effect one event can have on future generations – which is why I wanted to apply for the project. By applying for the Lessons from Auschwitz project, I believed it would help me understand how to address the Holocaust in an educated way, as well making sure I took the time to learn about the Holocaust when it is still relevant in today’s society.”

“Through the Lessons from Auschwitz programme, we had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz–Birkenau Memorial in Oswiecim, Poland, where we were given a guided tour of sites of great historical significance. Our day included a visit to a Jewish museum and synagogue, as well as both concentration camps. The experience of witnessing these places in person was not only deeply moving but also extremely educational as it allowed us to reflect on the atrocities of the Holocaust and the invaluable lessons that we can learn and carry forward with us into the future. An important moment of this journey that resonated deeply with me was when we were reading through the Book of Names. It served as a saddening reminder of the extensive human cost and its significance and even prompted me to research a few of the names I encountered. In addition to our visit, we participated in online seminars in which we were taught the historical elements and statistics that contributed to the Holocaust. Additionally, we had the honour of engaging in conversation with a Holocaust survivor.  I am beyond grateful for this opportunity as it has enriched my knowledge and instilled in me a new sense of responsibility and empathy. It is extremely important that everyone is educated on the events of the Holocaust as they serve as a reminder that we should never forget the past to ensure that such atrocities are never repeated in the future.” 

We hope they will share their experiences with the wider school community in the near future. 

Mr Gerschler