STUDENTS from North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) had a harrowing experience when they visited Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Two of the NSETC’s year 12 students, Ed Holtby and Gerard Malloy, visited the Nazi concentration and death camp in Poland on 16th March.
The trip was part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project.
The duo are studying History at A level and were invited to take part in the scheme, which has enabled 28,000 students and teachers to visit the Nazi concentration and death camp where an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered.
Gerard said: “My experience of visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau has left me still struggling to comprehend the extent of the horror the prisoners were subjected to.
“To be at the site were more than one million Jews, Poles, political opponents and prisoners of war were murdered and exterminated in gas chambers by the Nazi regime will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
The project aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the holocaust. The students took part in seminars before the visit and will now share their experiences with their peers and communities as Holocaust Educational Trust ambassadors.
Ed said: “The process of dehumanisation and the surgical and industrial way by which they were killed was horrific, like a factory producing goods.
“The camp itself has become synonymous with the Holocaust, a dark and gloomy place where the atmosphere clutches you and strangles you until you leave.”
The Trust’s Chief Executive on the Lessons from Auschwitz Project, Karen Pollock MBE, said: “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.
“The visit enables young people to see for themselves where racism, prejudice and antisemitism can ultimately lead and its importance is demonstrated by the inspiring work students go on to do in their local communities.”