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Sixth Formers Prepare for Auschwitz Visit

Two students are gearing up for one of the most thought-provoking trips they will ever make.

Colleen Denning and Rebecca Tailby, who are studying history A level, will spend a day at the former Nazi concentration camp as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project.

Only two places were available and because so many students in the year 12 history group applied to take part, names had to be drawn from a hat.

The visit is preceded with an orientation seminar in Nottingham on Thursday (February 23rd) where Rebecca and Colleen will meet others going on the trip. They will also hear a talk from a Holocaust survivor as well as learning about pre-war Jewish life.

When the students visit Auschwitz-Birkenau on Wednesday, February 29th, they will see the registration documents of inmates, piles of hair, shoes, clothes and other items seized from the prisoners as they entered the camps.

They will also see remnants of the gas chambers and crematoria before taking part in a memorial ceremony.

Colleen said: "I think it's important to learn what Jewish people had to go through - you read about it in books at school but I don't think I'll really know what it was actually like until I visit the camp. I spoke to a few people who have been and they say it just hits you."

The pair will also attend a follow-up seminar in Nottingham where they will be able to reflect on their visit and explore the contemporary relevance of the lessons of the Holocaust.

They will then come up with a project that will spread the message throughout KSA of what they experienced and learned from the visit.

Accompanying them on the trip will be history teacher Emma Caunt, who said: "It really will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. One of the students had already said about going and was thinking about organising a trip themselves. They have covered the Nazis in lessons which has brought up wider issues like religious persecution and bullying."