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The Basildon Academies

LESSONS FROM AUSCHWITZ - PART 2

Well done to a group of our Sixth Form students who have delivered a poignant and reflective presentation on the subject of the Holocaust.

Chloe Eley, Emmie Guppy, Kurtis Pope and Rares Turcu have been taking part in the 'Lessons from Auschwitz' project, during which time they have met with Holocaust survivor Steven Frank and visited the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

To share their experiences and to raise awareness with others, the group invited parents, students and members of staff to a presentation and discussion forum at the Upper Academy Library.

The lesson they passed on can be summarised in a quote they used from historian Yehuda Bauer which explains that ‘the horror of the holocaust is not that it deviated from human norms; the horror is that it didn’t. What happened may happen again, to others not necessarily Jews, perpetrators by others, not necessarily Germans. We are all possible victims, possible bystanders and possible perpetrators.’

The students also emphasised the need to remember the victims, not as a figure of 6 million, but as the individuals that they were before the holocaust; ordinary people with hopes and ambitions. Also to remember the perpetrators, not as monsters, but also as ordinary people.

In years to come, unfortunately, there will be no one alive to tell the story from their own personal experiences of Auschwitz. I feel it is our responsibility and duty to be able to pass on ‘that story’ to keep it alive throughout history. Chloe Eley, Year 13

“I knew that a lot of people needlessly lost their lives but didn’t realise to what extent. Talking and listening to the Sixth Formers helped me understand the scale and impact of the atrocity.” Victoria Daley - Year 10

“As a human race we can prevent this happening again if we remember the events of the holocaust and what happened over that time.”  Christopher Hawkins - Year 10

“I learned the most important part is not to concentrate on blaming people but to help bring back victim’s identity and to let them be personalised. We need to learn from our past mistakes in history.” Alicia Pitt - Year 10

“I am so incredibly proud of all of the students involved in the project. They have taken full grasp of this opportunity and worked very hard to ensure they can pass on the lessons they have learnt about how and why we remember the Holocaust.” Mrs Thomas - Teacher of History.