Lessons from Auschwitz

History teacher, Miss Thomas reports on the first meeting of the de Selincourt History Society of the year:

“Over fifty students and staff packed into the United Nations Room on 23 September to listen to a very poignant talk by two of our upper sixth History students, Emilia and Georgie. They spoke about their experiences from their trip to Auschwitz, with an organisation known as HET (Holocaust Education Trust), which runs a program called ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ (LFA). The LFA project has been running since 1999 and has involved over 300, 000 students and teachers, in its ground-breaking mission to expose the lessons that can be taken from the Holocaust.

The LFA project aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust for young people and to clearly highlight what can happen if prejudice and racism become acceptable. Emilia and Georgie spoke eloquently and respectfully about their experiences of both meeting a Holocaust survivor during stage one of their project, and the sites and stories they were exposed to as they walked around Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau. They focused on humanising the historic tragedy and ensuring their audience left thinking about the individual victims of the Holocaust. At the end of the talk the room was opened up to questions and the students were able to quiz the pair on their experiences in further detail, which demonstrated how important it is to continue to study and discuss the Holocaust.

The de Selincourt Society meets twice a half-term and the dates of the event can be found in the school calendar. The society is lucky enough to enjoy a range of talks on numerous historical subjects by both students, members of staff and outside speakers. The society offers a forum to discuss history outside of the classroom environment.”