A-Level historians embarked on a three day trip to Krakow to further their understanding of the Holocaust. The main purpose of the trip was to visit Auschwitz. It is very difficult to explain the emotions felt by the group as we were guided round Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II. The scale and nature of the suffering experienced at the camps is almost impossible to describe and undoubtedly made a deep impression on all of the group.
We were shown the barracks that prisoners were kept in, washing facilities, experiment rooms, the infamous rail tracks and transport carriages as well as the gas chambers. Alongside this, the personnel items and collection of hair that were displayed really put the individual and human cost into perspective. It was a truly thought provoking day.
From here, the group visited the Galicia Jewish Museum for a private guided tour and talk with a Holocaust survivor, Monika. This was a particularly powerful experience as Monika shared her story about being separated from her parents who were ultimately murdered. Having witnessed the camp earlier in the day, it brought home the very real and personal impact of The Holocaust.
On the final day, the group went on a guided tour of Krakow. The tour was very insightful as the group saw first-hand Krakow’s impressive architecture, learnt about the history of the city and particularly the role the Jews had played before, during and after the Holocaust. We were also lucky to see various sites used for filming as part of Stephen Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’.