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    Cross-Curricular Sixth Form Trip to Krakow

    35 Sixth Form students studying History, Religious Education and Psychology took part in a cross-curricular trip to visit Krakow to enrich their A level studies by visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau.  

    The group met at Stansted at 6am and despite the ungodly hour nearly everyone made it there early!  Arriving in a cold and snow covered Krakow at lunchtime the first stop was the old town square with beautiful medieval architecture.  After a short break for lunch and to see some of the sites they headed straight to the Schindler Factory Museum for a guided tour which focussed on life in Krakow before the Holocaust as well as the role of Oscar Schindler.  Those students who had sat through the showing of Schindler’s List earlier that week were able to recognise the famous gates and also recognise some of the locations from the film.  That evening was for many a highlight of the trip with a traditional Polish meal followed by folk dancing and lots of audience participation!

    Bright and early Sunday morning the group travelled to Auschwitz where they had a guided tour of Auschwitz I which was a emotional and memorable experience for the whole group.  Getting to see Auschwitz the site of the death of over 1 million Jews covered in snow,  just as it was on the day it was liberated was a powerful experience none the group are likely to forget.  Travelling then to Auschwitz-Birenkau to see the camp which had been built there by the Nazis specifically as a mass killing centre.  The group received an extended tour to see the living quarters, originally designed to house horses as well as the washing facilities and the remains of the crematorium, destroyed as the Nazi fled under the pursuit of the Red Army.  The day was a powerful experience made more so by the conditions and the fact it came just a week before Holocaust Memorial Day.  That evening was spent visiting a Jewish restaurant with entertainment from traditional musicians but disappointingly for our students no audience participation!  This was followed by bowling at a local venue.

    The final day in Krakow started with a visit to the Galicia Museum and a talk from a survivor.  Another moving experience where the students were able to hear first-hand from what it was like to survive the Holocaust.  This was followed by a walking tour of Krakow including a tour of Wawel Castle.  This finished off a very moving and education trip and a chance to reflect on the whole experience.