A Level ‘Next Steps’ History project

Miss Griffiths and two Year 12 students have been undertaking UCL’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project. The project involves seminars with the university, a trip to Auschwitz, a Holocaust Survivor testimony, and a Next Steps project.
Last term we travelled to Poland, arriving at Birmingham airport at 4am and flying out to Krakow. Upon arrival we travelled to Auschwitz I. The layout of Auschwitz I is similar to a street, but in each building there is an exhibition on the different experiences of the people inside the camp. It was here that we saw the piles of hair, shoes, glasses, and other personal items that people believed they would be reunited with. This was extremely hard to see and learn about but was eye opening and completely humanised the victims of the Holocaust in a way only possible through visiting Auschwitz itself.
We then travelled to Auschwitz Birkenau, which was where a large majority of the people sent to Auschwitz were murdered. Birkenau is laid out very differently from Auschwitz I; it is more spaced-out and barren. We walked along the train tracks which the victims would have travelled across and saw the cattle carriages they would have been transported in. We were shown around the different barracks of which many had been destroyed by Nazis to cover their crimes.
“I can’t quite think of the words to describe my experience at Auschwitz. It’s truly indescribable. As I walked into Auschwitz there was an eeriness, knowing that you were standing where one of the 6 million Jewish people stood. Auschwitz Birkenau was a completely different feeling. The size of it was not perceivable from what you learn about in history books. This was an experience that I know I will never forget and will talk about for the rest of my life. – Abi
Thank you so much to Abi and Julianne for their participation in the project; they were all a credit to the 6th form, THS and themselves and we’re so looking forward to seeing their ‘Next Steps’ project.
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