Woodside High School

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Feeling humble after Auschwitz-Birkenau

 We’ve just return form Auschwitz-Birkenau with a group of year 11 History GCSE students and will try my best to put into words, while it remains raw. As you can imagine, after visiting a former concentration camp followed by a former extermination camp, my mood is rather low and I think I struggled a lot more than I thought I would have.

Everyone on the tour walked around with looks of disbelief and often tears of sadness strolling down our face. No words could suffice for the information that we were trying to process in our mind. If you ever fancy and Auschwitz tour, don’t be silly like me and think you know it all and nothing can surprise you… Auschwitz is emotionally heavy. That being said, if I could do it again I certainly would. I’m extremely glad and humble that we went and paid respect to the victims of such an atrocity on the 74th anniversary of the camps being liberated and closed down. We were overwhelmed by standing in front of the gates of the shear reminder of crime against humanity. Sharing such an amazing and life changing experience with my students was an incredible moment of my teaching carrier and a bond made for life. We felt truly honoured to be there.

I have spoken to a lot of people here who just don’t ‘get’ why I’d want to visit such a depressing place. It’s very simple; I’m not a fan of burying my head in the sand – this happened and it’s important that humanity learns from it. My students the future generation should learn from it so they can grow up with the attitude of condemning evil. I’m happy we went and paid our respects to the victims of Auschwitz and to the armies around the world that fought to end this. We were standing in snow just like those soldiers and survivors did 74 year ago…

We have gained much more out of this trip than we could have hoped for…

 “This was an incredible experience. I saw a memorial of someone with the same surname as my grandfather. I will talk to my grandfather and find out whether he knew this person.” KACPER

“The thing that really struck me was the sheer scale of everything. I can’t put into words the unimaginable scale if the camps. The rows of hundreds of sheds, each would have held hundreds of people. It was terrifying.” CALEB

“I feel quite numb after the whole experience. It still blows my mind how millions lived and suffered in that place. I also found myself asking a lot of the time: Where is the common sense here?” ABDILLAHI

“Today has been a very difficult day. It reminded me when I think that I’m so unlucky that it is nowhere near what they experienced. It reminds me to be grateful for every day. A life changing visit which I can’t wait to share with my family and my future children.” NAZIFA

“It was a great opportunity to be able to come. The fact that we were able to go and be in the actual place made me realise what really happened. What those innocent people had to go through has just begun to sink in. Thank you for the experience.” ROSANA

“For me this was a life changing experience which I will never forget. The knowledge I learnt and the feelings I experienced today were life changing and allowed me to appreciate everything we have in our lives.” JANIZ