Alsop students visit Auschwitz
Sixth form ambassadors from Alsop High School in Liverpool visited Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland last week.
They joined 150 other students from schools across Liverpool and the North West.
The visit took place during the 84th anniversary of The November Pogrom, ‘Kristallnacht’.
The November Pogrom marked the organised, state-sanctioned terror against Jewish people in Germany before World War II.
During the night of the 9 November 1938, around 30,000 were taken to concentration camps
Ms Lynne Tynan, head of Year 13 accompanied the four students on the visit which was part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project.
Ms Tynan said: “Recent rises in anti-Semitism highlights just how important the work of Holocaust Educational Trust is.
“Alsop student’s commitment to learning lessons from Auschwitz is a real testimony to their desire to foster social cohesion and harmony in their own communities.
“The visit provided an insightful and important experience our students will never forget.”
On the day visit, students first visited Oświęcim, the town where the former Nazi concentration and death camp is located and where, before the war, 58% of the population was Jewish.
Students then visited Auschwitz to see the former camp’s barracks and crematoria and witnessed the piles of belongings that were seized by the Nazis.
At the end of the visit over 150 students stood at the end of the railway track which is yards from the crumbling remnants of a gas chamber.
The students then participated in a candle-lighting ceremony to commemorate the 84th anniversary of The November Pogram.
At the end of the ceremony the funeral prayer was recited to remember the victims of ‘Kristallnacht’ and the millions of Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
One of the student ambassadors said: “There was a silence as people reflected, but the enormity of what went on here means that it would take 11-and-a-half years to remember each individual person with a single minute’s silence.”
Mr Paul Masher, headteacher of Alsop High School, said: “We would like to thank Ms Tynan and our student ambassadors for participating in this study visit.
“The day was emotional, as expected, but the students were completely respectful and showed great compassion throughout the day.
“We look forward to seeing their presentation and hearing about their visit when they lead collective worship to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2023.”
Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust comments:
“The ‘Lessons from Auschwitz Project’ is a vital part of our work, allowing young people to learn about the Holocaust in a way they cannot in the classroom.
“It was a real privilege for the Holocaust Educational Trust to take over 150 students and their educators to Auschwitz-Birkenau on the 84th anniversary of ‘Kristallnacht’.
“This anniversary reminds us to speak out on anti-Semitism.”
She added: “There are some days so significant that they change everything.
“They change how people feel in the moment. They change history.
“For many Jews in Nazi occupied Europe, the November Pogrom, November 9th and 10th 1938, often known as ‘Kristallnacht’ was just that for Jews across Europe. It was the precursor to the Holocaust.”