The annual visit to Auschwitz is available to Year 13 students with typically 30 - 40 students taking up the opportunity. The focus of the four day visit is a full day study tour to the former Auschwitz extermination camp.
On the 5th October, 28 of us had a very early start to depart for Poland.
We had a packed itinerary, starting with exploring the Jewish quarter in Krakow, visiting the only functioning synagogue in that area and going to the Embarkation square in the old ghetto area. We also visited Schindler’s factory, which now records not only how Oscar Schindler saved so many Jews but also what life was like under German occupation in Krakow. This background to Jewish life in Krakow was rounded off by an evening meal at a typical Jewish restaurant.
The main talking point of the trip, however, would have to be Auschwitz. We were apprehensive on the coach journey as no one knew what to expect and the eerie weather only added to the experience. It was evident how overwhelmed everyone was trying to comprehend the events that occurred here during World War II and seeing the objects left behind and hearing the accounts of what took place we are sure that this will be an experience none of us could ever forget.
To lighten the mood, on our final day, having spent the last of our zloty in the Cloth Hall, we finished our trip with an evening horse and carriage ride around Krakow, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
This trip was definitely worthwhile and we would strongly recommend anyone who had the opportunity to take it up.
By Chloe Woodhouse and Katie Price