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Lessons From Holocaust

I have just returned from the Orientation seminar organised by Holocaust Educational Trust. Our specific trip is part of the Lessons From Auschwitz project. The seminar has taken place at Aston University from 3pm-7pm this afternoon. Two of my Year 12 girls have been lucky enough to secure a place on this prestigious course and I have also managed to bag a teacher place! The course was expertly run in preparation for our visit to Poland next Tuesday 1st May 2012. We had a whole group talk and then a smaller session with our group and our educator Steve.

We put the visit to Auschwitz next week in the broader context of the Holocaust at the start of the seminar. We looked at photographs from a variety of people affected by WW2. We were encouraged to interrogate the terms of the course: the idea that lessons can be learned from Auschwitz.

This was followed by an amazing talk by Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper who gave an inspiring testimonial. The 82 year old repeatedly stated that he has had a happy life and the reason he wants to share his experiences is to promote his motto “Do not hate and don’t give up”. He talked about the importance of friends in time of need and how important his family are to him. Zigi was both an inspiring yet humble and humorous communicator; a real joy to listen to. He certainly gave us a human perspective on the Holocaust which I am sure will help us when we physically travel to the site.

We are in group five with Steve which consists of many students, one other teacher and a journalist called Bobby Bridge  from CIN: Central Independent News and Media. We had a really productive session discussing our expectations, photography and the logistics of the trip in our smaller group. I am really looking forward to the trip next week (despite the 5am check in at the airport!!!)

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