Since 2006, the Lessons from Auschwitz programme has seen more than 30,000 students visit the notorious Nazi death camp. In May, John Galloway joined the latest group of students and teachers travelling to Auschwitz-Birkenau

“You can read about the Holocaust, or watch a film, but to be confronted with Auschwitz-Birkenau makes history much more tangible,” explained Anita Parmar, head of the Lessons from Auschwitz project at the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

As SecEd readers will know, Lessons from Auschwitz sees around 3,000 British school students and teachers every year make a day visit to this infamous site of mass murder.

It sets out to provide these students with the opportunity to learn directly from what Ms Parmar believes “shouldn’t simply be another episode in history”.

As every key stage 3 student knows (the Holocaust is compulsory in the history national curriculum), nearly six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the early 1940s as part of a programme of mass murder that also saw at least another half a million people – homosexuals, trade unionists, Roma, communists, Russian prisoners of war, people with disabilities, and others – die. All carried out with unprecedented industrial efficiency. Such are some of the facts, but behind those facts are very human stories, ones which the HET seeks to reveal through this programme.

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