Auschwitz: Taking our students there.

On the News today and also on TV, a new initiative from the Government to send some pupils from every school in England to the Auschwitz concentration camp. I think its a great idea. We took some of our kids about 5 years ago to Auschwitz. Really horrific and really significant. For them and also for us as parents.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • kiwipaddy says:

    haven’t been to the camps but did go to the holocaust exhibition in the imperial war museum in london several years ago … despite being engrossed in history lessons at school nothing could have prepared me for the reality of seeing personal items, stories, etc on display … and one of the railway carriages. it was the shoes with their laces cut open that really touched me deeply though … wasn’t sure if i should have been able to view such deeply personal items. also shocking, to me at least, was to see that the lift to the exhibition floor had been made and installed by siemens. a harsh reminder or a generous and gracious gesture of forgiveness? i really don’t know.

  • tsk says:

    glad you went there.
    Auschwitz has a whole room full of shoes, and other full of hair brushes, etc.
    i think its the relation to the people that makes it striking – these were real people who owned those shoes and that is all thats left.

  • kiwipaddy says:

    totally. they also had hair grips and lapel pins. my mind easily wandered to those tender, soft gestures of a mother putting a hair grip in her daughter’s hair … a wife straightening her husband’s lapel pin like I saw my grandmother do so many times. those simple, yet poignant reminders of daily life and relationships. i think the proposals for schoolchildren are great. we too easily detach ourselves from the brutal reality of the event and by not exposing our children to the painfulness and the truth of history we just make it easier for another generation to return to it.

  • becky says:

    Haven’t been there but went to Yad Vasham in Israel – the sampling of artifacts there was powerful. What made me cry was the children’s museum – they repeated a loop of the names of every child they had on record that died and a candle was lit in that child’s honor. What gave me hope was the garden they had with plaques listing the names of those of all faiths who helped the Jews during this time.

  • We visited Auschwitz when I was about 11 (circa 1974). It made a deep impression on me and I think it would be great for all the students in England to visit. We need to look at what happens when prejudice and hatred go unchallenged and unchecked. This is a particularly relevant issue here in East Africa at the moment.

  • julie says:

    just took our class of eleven year olds last week to a presentation given by some of our high school students in south lanarkshire who visited Auschwitz – extremely sad and very moving, especially because it was all written and performed by young people – our class wrote some amazing poetry afterwards about loss and remembrance and standing up for others – we don’t often get time in school to reflect on such important things – peace, julie

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