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Public Services Students Make Lessons of Auschwitz Trip

Published 02 July
Public Services courses

In May, first year Public Services students Millie Dobson, Finlay North, Gracie Halligan, and Laura Legowska went on a one-day trip to Auschwitz organised by tutor Dr James Simpkin and the Holocaust Educational Trust. This is an annual trip, with the intention of raising student awareness.  

Display of visit to Auschwitz in Ingleborough

James Simpkin, Lecturer in Public Services said, “We arrange this visit to Auschwitz with the help of the Holocaust Educational Trust every year with our public service students as a warning of where prejudice, discrimination and “just following orders” can lead, since it was the Nazi police and army that went around rounding up Jewish people and others for extermination.” 

Year 1 Public Services Students visit to Auschwitz

As part of this Lessons of Auschwitz Trip, the Holocaust Educational Trust asks students to create a message of their choice to share experiences and what they’ve learned with their fellow students. Millie, Finlay, Gracie, and Laura chose to make a display in the shape of the infamous gates of Auschwitz 1 detailing their reflections on the impact the visit had on them together with photographs they took. 

Student Gracie Halligan commented, “I saw the gated entrance ahead of me quoting “work sets you free” and my heart sunk, I have seen it many times before on social media, but it was nothing compared to walking underneath it in real life” 

Student Finlay North added, “A particular part which resonated with me was the singular pair of children’s shoes within Auschwitz 1 which massively increased acknowledgement around the holocaust, showing the how it affected many individuals instead of grouping up the people within the tragedy.” 

The display also includes an extract from Michael Krupa’s Shallow Graves in Siberia as part of the mosaic component of Holocaust remembrance, which includes other groups that were persecuted by the Nazis alongside Jewish people such as Roma, the disabled, homosexuals, general Polish public, Soviet prisoners of war, and others. 

Year 1 Public Services Students visit to Auschwitz

After the war, Michael came to live locally and was the great-grandfather of second year Craven College Public Services student Millie Dyer, who is friends with Gracie. Our group through such a close link would make the experience of the Holocaust relatable to our students. 

In the extract we read how Michael, a soldier in the Polish Army, was incredibly close to being captured by the Nazis and how Polish citizens were sent to labour camps in Germany whilst Polish Jews were sent to concentration camps. 

The display is currently set up in the high street in Ingleborough for viewing.

Vocational
TitleLevel
Public ServicesLevel 2, Level 3
Part-time
TitleStart
Community Interpretation Level 2Tue 10 September 2024
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