Pupils take part in Lessons from Auschwitz project

A pair of High School of Dundee pupils have been sharing their experiences from a project which aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust.

Pupils take part in Lessons from Auschwitz project

Earlier this term, Inez Spence and Laurence Petty took part in ‘Lessons From Auschwitz’, a programme that sees participants visit the Nazi extermination camp in Poland and attend special seminars in order to learn from one of humanity’s darkest events and understand what can happen if prejudice and racism become acceptable. 

The project has been educating 16 to 18-year-olds about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance for 20 years, and after taking part, Inez and Laurence shared the lessons they had learned with their peers by giving presentations at assemblies.

Laurence said, “The visit to Poland was very moving. Seeing the methodical organisation, especially of Birkenau, was very striking in demonstrating the way that humans could orchestrate something so inhuman so effectively. This experience has given me a fuller understanding of the Holocaust and the importance of sharing this knowledge to further educate others, preventing genocides from occurring.”

Inez said, “Auschwitz Birkenau is truly eye opening to the shattering reality that is the Holocaust and no lesson or assembly could provide anywhere near the same raw emotional impact that we felt during our trip. However the LFA project provides us, as young people and human beings, with the best opportunity and assistance to educate our peers and others about the events of this time and how we can prevent similar genocides from occurring today and in the future. I truly believe this may be one of the most important lessons in shaping a young person.”

History and Modern Studies teacher Lucy Jack, said, “Laurence and Inez both engaged thoroughly in the project, representing themselves and the school fantastically.  Since their trip to Poland, they have taken part in seminars about the significance of ensuring that the horrors of the Holocaust are not forgotten and lead incredibly thought-provoking assemblies where they talked about the personalisation of the Holocaust, using individual stories to engage the audience and ensure they remembered the people behind the atrocity – not just the numbers.”

Since 1999, more than 41,000 students and teachers from throughout the UK have taken part in the project, which is run by the Holocaust Educational Trust. You can find out more at: https://www.het.org.uk/lessons-from-auschwitz-programme