PUPIL from Friends' School has shared her account of a visit to
Lauren Barr was one of two pupils from the
school who had the opportunity to participate in the 'Lessons
from Auschwitz' Project - a trust which aims to increase
knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust.
Last month Alan Irwin and Lauren went to
Auschwitz, one of the largest death camps created during World
Year 14 student Lauren explained a week
before the trip pupils from around Northern Ireland metto learn
more about the project and the Holocaust. They witnessed an
account from a Holocaust survivor, Ziggy Shipper who told them
about his time in Auschwitz and the daily struggles he
The pupils then went to Oswiecim in Poland
where they visited a Jewish cemetery which had grown into
disrepair after the Nazi invasion. "When the Nazis invaded the
town, they uprooted all the Jewish headstones and used them for
building materials and after World War Two, these headstones had
been found throughout the city and were returned to their
rightful place," said Lauren.
"I will never forget the trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau.The
camp was made up of 20 blocks, enough to hold 20,000 prisoners
at any one time. Walking through the infamous 'Arbeit Macht Frei'
('Work brings freedom') I thought about the thousands of
prisoners who had walked to their death via this gate.
"The exhibition that stood out for me was the
display of suitcases, shoes, hair, glasses and prosthetic limbs
which are a physical reminder of the individual prisoners who
suffered at the camp. In particular the suitcases were haunting
as they were marked with dates and names of the victims. Our
guide pointed out a suitcase of an orphan who was three years
old. This served as evidence that people of all ages suffered in
the Holocaust, simply because of their religion," Lauren said.
The day finished with a memorial which was
led by Rabbi Markus, the man who created the 'Lessons from
Lauren concluded: "The day had been a journey
-literally and emotionally and one that I will never forget."