Auschwitz Nazi death camp visit leaves impression on Bishop Challoner pupils

At the entrance to Auschwitz... pupils form east London's Bishop Challoner School

At the entrance to Auschwitz... pupils form east London's Bishop Challoner School - Credit: Bishop Challoner Sch

Pupils have returned to east London’s Bishop Challoner Secondary school after an emotional tour of the site of Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

The visit was “a very difficult experience” and one that the students responded to sensitively, the organiser said.

They visited the Polish city of Krakow for a weekend focussing on Second World War Jewish Holocaust history .

“You could see the marks on the walls and the bunks on the shelves and could feel the emotion still there,” Head Boy Archie Barry-Thakes said. “It was very hard, but you really build a connection towards history.”

Another pupil said: “Learning from textbooks you see numbers and figures—but going there you see the real thing, what people have done to other people.”

The 40 Years 10, 11 and 12 students from the Stepney school saw Oskar Schindler’s factory where they learned about how he protected 1,000 Jews from being sent to the death camps by fighting for their right to remain as his workforce.

But it was the death camp itself which brought home the horrors of the holocaust and the Second World War to today’s generation.

Most Read

The tour was part of the Bishop Challoner’s holocaust education programme and being a ‘holocaust beacon’ school.

It included Krakow’s Jewish museum where the youngsters heard a testimony from a woman who had lived through the holocaust. She had risked persecution and death as a Catholic by hiding Jews from the Nazi Occupation authorities.