The Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons From Auschwitz Project

Published 19 January 2023

St Bart’s Sixth Form has been successful in securing two student places on The Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project. The Holocaust was the murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children by the Nazis and their collaborators – an episode that changed the shape of Europe, and the world, forever. The Project offers students the opportunity to learn about the history of the Holocaust through a bespoke programme and a one-day visit to Poland to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. Since 1999, over 41,000 students and teachers have taken part in the ground breaking project.

All Year 12 students were given the opportunity to apply for a place by submitting a 750 word response to the following statement: Schools should continue to deliver Holocaust education. Five shortlisted applicants were then invited to give a presentation to the Head of History, Ms Kerr, and Coordinating Teacher, Mr Owen, on their response to the statement. Congratulations to Isabella (12C5) and Ariana (12P5) who were ultimately successful in their applications and awarded the placements. 

Isabella: “Finding out I’d been accepted onto the programme made me so happy and I was so proud of myself for being chosen out of everyone who applied. I am so grateful to be able to work with a great organisation who will help me learn so much more about the Holocaust and also give me the ability to teach other students using my experience, which I think is so important.

Ariana: “The application process was difficult but it allowed me to explore ideas that I had never really thought about. On the Friday of the results, I waited next to my phone the whole day in anticipation. After I got the news it honestly felt unreal. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see what so many people had written and filmed about. With the knowledge that I will obtain through this experience, I’d like to teach more about the Holocaust and share my personal notes from visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau. I would definitely like to do more after this and go on to spread awareness on many other genocides and hate crimes.

Based on the premise that ‘hearing is not like seeing’, the four-part course explores the universal lessons of the Holocaust and its relevance for today. Students learn through two online seminars, led by experts in the history of the Holocaust and Holocaust education, and hear directly from Holocaust survivors, who share their personal experiences, including a live survivor testimony and Q&A.

Sixth Form Leader and Co-Ordinating Teacher, Mr Owen, who made the application on behalf of St Bart’s, said: “This a unique learning journey for those involved, with the chance to reflect on the relevance of this history in today’s world. The students will also have the opportunity to show leadership and devise their own initiative through which they can share what they have learnt with the wider St Bart’s community.”

The Programme will be delivered throughout February, after which time Isabella and Ariana will share what they have learnt with their peers and wider community through the Next Steps component of the course. We look forward to updating you on their experiences in a later issue of BartholoNews.