A lesson to us all
BECKY Morley and Emily-Rose Dover may only be 17 and still at school but they have both faced up to the worst that humanity can do. As part of Fearnhill School s commitment to raising awareness of Holocaust Day, they visited Auschwitz and Birkenau to see
BECKY Morley and Emily-Rose Dover may only be 17 and still at school but they have both faced up to the worst that humanity can do.
As part of Fearnhill School's commitment to raising awareness of Holocaust Day, they visited Auschwitz and Birkenau to see the conditions Jews were forced to live in during World War II and how they died in the concentration camps.
Tomorrow (Friday), which is Holocaust Memorial Day, they will be making sure their fellow students understand what happened and how harrowing it was.
Becky and Emily-Rose went with humanities teacher Emma Blows on a day trip organised by the Holocaust Education Trust. It was a grim experience for them all.
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"You can't really express it," said Becky.
"It was unbelievable, very moving. Some of my friends thought it was a bit morbid but it's not."
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The girls were carefully selected because of their interest in history and their commitment to carrying the project through. They also needed to be mature enough to cope with what they saw.
Their teacher found it equally moving.
"We were prepared for the visit because it's such a harrowing experience to go through. But nothing really prepares you, the girls had to go off and collect their thoughts," said Emma.
"There are rooms and rooms of shoes with 10,000 pairs left from the killing on just one day."
The gruelling trip began at 5am and went on until late at night but Becky said she would not have wanted to stay in Poland for the night - it would have made it seem too like an outing.
Since they came back the girls have been talking to fellow students at Fearnhill, in Letchworth GC, putting up posters, selling ribbons for the Holocaust Educational Trust, writing an article for the school newspaper and mounting a display in the town's library.
"They have worked fantastically hard," said Emma.
"They were chosen because they did history and had been really conscientious and we felt it would be a valuable experience for them to go there."
It is the first time the school has taken part in the regular trips run by the Holocaust Educational Trust but it hopes to send more students to Auschwitz.
The school is also inviting survivors from a concentration camp to come in to talk about their experiences, as they did last year.
"That makes it more real and gets the students thinking about prejudice in the world and what it can lead to," said Emma.