Remembering the Holocaust victims

Auschwitz-Berkenau deathcamp.
Auschwitz-Berkenau deathcamp.

A visit to Auschwitz brought a new poignancy to pupils at a Blyth school.

The Blyth Academy, sponsored by Northern Education Trust, commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day.

Sharna Maddison (left) with Steph Davison taking part in a candlelight vigil on the tracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Sharna Maddison (left) with Steph Davison taking part in a candlelight vigil on the tracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

And there was added meaning after Sixth Form pupils Steph Davison and Sharna Maddison, along with history teacher Mr Davison, visited Poland last October as part of the Lessons from Auschwitz project organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

During Holocaust Memorial Day they shared their experiences of the trip visiting a Jewish cemetery in the town of Oświęcim; undertook a tour of the concentration and death camps, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they saw personal belongings of those interred; shared survivor testimonies of Ela Weissberger and Kitty Hart-Moxon; and showed photographs.

Steph said: “In taking part in this very informative trip, our aim has been to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust with fellow students and the important lessons to be learned.

“Sadly, even in more recent times there have been genocides in Darfur in the Sudan, Rwanda and Cambodia.

“We have inspired everyone at the Academy to be involved in the memorial activities through dedicated discussion in tutor time.”

Sharna added: “As a result of our project, students have gained an awareness of the horrors of the Holocaust and taken into account how genocide, persecution and the denial of human rights have affected many different people throughout the world.”

“We have also shared our lessons from Auschwitz with the wider school community and emphasised why it is important for us to commemorate the Holocaust.”