Lessons from Auschwitz

lessonsfromauschwitz‘Since 1999, over 34,000 students and teachers have taken part in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s groundbreaking 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.

 
The visits to the former Nazi concentration and death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau are preceded and followed by half-day seminars in order to ensure an exceptional educational experience.’
Holocaust Educational Trust

 
Last year two of our students Rose Noden and Tash Robin were chosen to represent STAGS and partake in this project to become ‘Lessons From Auschwitz’ Ambassadors. Below are some reflections and photos from them both to explain and describe their experience.

 
‘I still think about our visit to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau often. Moments that stuck with me were the display of drawings by children who had been in Auschwitz I. For me this was a visual reminder that the children in the hol-ocaust were so innocent and just like any other children no matter what culture race or time they wanted to draw and have fun, sadly however for these children their surroundings were awful and this was represented in their drawings.’

 
Rose Noden, 13.2

 
‘Something I particularly picked up on after the initial seminar, which ran through my head the entirety of the day in Poland, was a comment from one of the LFA Leaders: “seeing is not the same as hearing”. Sitting in the initial orientation room, knowing that I was in a both safe and secure environment, proved difficult for me to envision the extent of trauma Holocaust victims must have experienced, despite hearing the horrific tragedies that Zigi Shipper – the guest speaker – had to go through. However, after spending the day in Poland, visiting both concentration camps – Auschwitz I and Auschwitz Birkenau – and the old town, my perspective completely changed.’

 

Tash Robin, 13.2

 

Two students are again taking part in this year to become an ambassador for the LFA Project. All students in Year 12 were given the opportunity to apply by writing a letter of application explaining the reasons why they want to take part. The two successful candidates were Aimee Bartman and Lara Hall; here are some extracts to their application letters.

 
‘The theme of this year’s Holocaust memorial “The Power of Words” makes the whole subject of even more important and relevant to me personally as a student of English Literature. I was both moved and inspired by the power of Eva Schloss’ words when she spoke at school and want to be able to pass her crucial testimony onto future generations of STAGS students. Visiting Auschwitz in person will give me my own testimony to help educate others to the atrocities that occurred there only 70 years ago.’

 
Aimee Bartman, 12.4

 
‘I am extremely passionate about political and social issues of today’s society. Although I find it very interesting to study. I can only learn so much from research at home and I don’t believe I could fully understand something as difficult as the Holocaust without completely involving myself in its history and visiting Auschwitz would be an excellent opportunity for this. Visiting the place where such atrocities took place allows me to try and get closer to truly understand the struggle the Jewish people had to endure. From this experience I could then return to school and educate those around me more successfully.’

 
Lara Hall, 12.3

 
Aimee and Lara will take part in their first section of the project on Sunday 11th February 2018 in London before flying out to Auschwitz on Thursday 22nd February 2018. We hope that they find this experience as rewarding as the their predecessors and are looking forward to the activities they will create to share their experience with the rest of the STAGS community.

 

 

Miss Brock (Curriculum Leader of Religion, Ethics and Philosophy)