JLC Public Affairs Officer, Gabi Kobrin talks about her participation in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project.
Since 1999, over 20,000 students and teachers have taken part in the Holocaust Educational Trust's ground-breaking Lessons from Auschwitz Project. Based on the premise that ‘hearing is not like seeing’, this four-part course aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust for young people and teachers. I had the privilege of attending one of these life changing trips in April to the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, along with over 200 students and teachers. It is quite astonishing how much one can get out of just one day in Auschwitz. Watching how engaged and inspired the students were by Rabbi Andrew Shaw of the United Synagogue, who accompanied the visit and spoke to participants to reflect on the day, was extremely moving in itself. Visiting Auschwitz can be overwhelming but the expertise of the Holocaust Educational Trust makes the day informative, educational and thought provoking. Before visiting the concentration camps, we spent time in what was the thriving Jewish town of Auschwitz before the war; in order to try understanding what was lost, one needs to understand what existed before hand. I take my hat off to an extremely professional Lessons from Auschwitz Project team who day in and day out are educating young people about what happens when racism, discrimination and hate are allowed to manifest and consume society.