During the February Half – Term, a group of pupils from Years 9, 10 & 11 visited Krakow in Poland.
Upon arrival pupils took the short bus journey from Krakow Airport to Hotel Wyspianski in the centre of the city, once checked in, pupils settled down to enjoy a nights sleep ahead of a busy second day.
After a hearty Polish breakfast, pupils took an hour long bus journey to the small town of Oswiciem, better known as Auschwitz, the home of the infamous Nazi concentration camp of the same name. Pupils were given the opportunity to explore the camp with their guides, seeing many of the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis first hand. Particularly striking for many pupils was the room filled with human hair, this was shaved from victims shortly before their extermination using Zyklon B gas.
However, a perhaps even more striking part of the tour was explained by Year 11 pupil Mitchell Washington: “The thing that struck me most about the scale of the killings at Auschwitz was the room filled with prosthetic limbs. If you think how many people in the world would have had fake arms and legs in the 1940’s and then how many sets are there, it really puts it into perspective as to how many people were killed!” A very insightful explanation, showing how the trip impacted upon the pupils who visited.
After visiting the gas chambers, pupils then visited Oskar Schindler’s factory, where the Schindler story, as well as the wider story of occupied Poland was explained to the pupils. After a delicious evening meal, pupils were escorted into central Krakow to explore.
The next day, pupils visited Wawel Royal Castle after their breakfast to see one of, if not the most, picturesque castles in all of Poland, and the seat of German governor of Poland; Hans Frank. Following this, pupils visited the markets of Krakow to buy some gifts for loved ones, before the trip home.
Assisstant Head of Humanities