Another day, another Holocaust Educational Trust student trip to Auschwitz in the news. You can read about the latest trip, headlined “Inside Auschwitz; the heart of darkness” in the Shropshire Star here.
This quote is from the news article:
There is only so much that youngsters from Shropshire can learn about the Nazi plan to wipe out Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and political opponents during the Holocaust from textbooks, teachers and documentaries.
But seeing is truly believing.
The scheme was set up initially just for Jewish pupils by Rabbi Marcus from the Central Synagogue in London. He first took students 14 years ago and has been on every trip since, about 150.
“I felt there was a need to educate people,” he said. “You learn about it in school but here you see it, feeling, breathing, walking.”
You can be told that Jews were gassed, but when you see empty cylinders of poisonous Zyklon B crystals, it makes it real.
Seeing the empty Zyklon-B cans “makes it real” but what does this prove? The empty cans are proof that Zyklon-B was used for something, but was it used to kill lice or people? Do these students ever hear the word typhus spoken on their trips to Auschwitz?
The quote from the news article continues with this:
You can be told Jews had their heads shaved, but when you see two tonnes of human hair, that makes it real.
What are the students told about the reason for shaving the heads of the prisoners? Are they told that this was done to humiliate the Jews, or were their heads shaved to get rid of any lice that might have been brought into the camp? Are the students told that typhus is spread by lice? Is the word typhus ever mentioned?
Continuing the quote from the news article:
Textbooks tell you they were stripped naked and their possessions taken from them, but when you see 80,000 shoes and 40kg of glasses, that makes it real.
And this was just a fraction of the items recovered after Nazis tried to hide their appalling crimes by burning the storage units at the three Auschwitz camps.
Are the students told that the wooden “storage units” at Auschwitz-Birkenau were still burning on January 27, 1945 when Soviet soldiers arrived to liberate the camp, after the Germans had left with some of the prisoners on January 18, 1945? Who set the fire in the “storage units,” the Nazis or the Soviets? Do any of the students ever ask WHY the storage units were burned?
Do the students ask any questions at all on their trips to Auschwitz?
A photo of the suitcases on display at Auschwitz is shown, along with the news article. What do the suitcases tell you? The suitcases are not deteriorating like the hair that is also on display. Do any of the students notice this and ask what this means?
Taking students on a trip to Auschwitz and withholding important information should be against the law. Enough already!