Train track to Auschwitz

SCG student Natasha shares her experience of joining the Holocaust Educational Trust and the important lessons to be learned for today.

My name’s Natasha and I'm here to tell you why you should join the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) here at Shrewsbury Colleges Group. The Holocaust Educational Trust was first established in 1988, their aim is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned today. The trust works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach programme for schools and resource materials.
I’m going to give you an insight into my experience throughout the project and what I've learned.

Overall I had three lessons from HET, the first lesson is where we talked about the background of The Holocaust and met our groups and educators, and the second was my favourite as we got to listen to a holocaust survivor’s story live, which was very eye-opening and interesting and that I’m forever grateful for! The third session was where we got to experience a tour around Auschwitz live with VR (Virtual Reality), where we saw the train tracks the trains would have approached on and we also saw the small gloomy bunks with overcrowded bunk beds stacked together where those would sleep, I found this rather miserable.

We then discussed our next steps and what we will do to portray what we have learnt to others. I was also selected to read a poem in the commemoration called ‘Sh’ma, which was very inspiring. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we could not visit Auschwitz this year but maybe you could in the future!

By participating in Het at Shrewsbury college you must carry out your next steps project to prove your learning and commitment, after this, you can receive a qualification of 3 ASDAN credits and an ASDAN credit rated certificate (Something to add to your CV!) This project could be anything from a poem, art, blog or virtual presentation displaying your understanding and knowledge.

Like I said we covered various topics to do with the holocaust, I'd like to share with you some of the topics I discussed with my HET educator if you are interested, I just want to inform you some topics can be sensitive to certain individuals: The Emergence of Antisemitism, Germany, Hitler, and the Rise of the Nazis, War, Ghettos and Genocide, Jewish Responses to Persecution and many more. If you think this is something you will be open to learning more about, then please do join the project HET at Shrewsbury Colleges Group! I am very much glad I joined HET as I've always had some interest in the holocaust, I would mostly read books on it as well as articles. But in HET it was different, I got to explore deeper than I did before as well as hear other people's views and questions. The Holocaust was an incredibly sad event yet to be known to everyone, from spreading the word as much as we can we are giving something back to those who had no choice but to surrender their innocence. To ensure the past does not repeat itself, it is crucial to educate everyone of all ages and from every background on The Holocaust.

It is good to learn about past events that have occurred in this world as it gives you an understanding of why certain things are the way they are today. Even if it is a little side project on top of school work, you’ll find you will appreciate all the stories, the work and all the information in today's sources. If you decide to participate in HET then this means you can apply your knowledge wherever you like such as through discussions, debates, videos, blogs, etc. After you’ve completed your next steps at HET you can apply to be an ambassador, someone who promotes or represents if you like, In this case, The Holocaust. But I'll let Het explain that to you when the time comes.

Thank you for reading my blog here on The Shrewsbury College website, it has been a pleasure sharing my experience with you with The Holocaust Educational Trust, and hopefully, you can share yours one day too!

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