In 1941, the deadliest genocide in history began. Over the next four years, millions of people were systematically murdered because they were seen as inferior to the Aryan ‘master’ race. A large proportion of the victims of this genocide were Jewish, although Slavs, Roma, Sinti, homosexuals and people with disabilities were also killed.
We’ve created a FREE poster, tracking the timeline of the Holocaust, to help your students better understand how it unfolded.
Holocaust Memorial Day is held every year on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, to ensure that the horrors that took place in Nazi-controlled Europe are never forgotten. It is hoped that remembering such tragedies will help us to prevent more happening.
But, of course, genocide has happened since, most notably in Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda, proving that racial hatred still exists. In fact, here in the UK in 2016, racism is worryingly on the rise.
The Community Security Trust published a report earlier this year showing that anti-Semitic incidents in the UK were continuing to increase. And the Home Office advised in October that racist or religious abuse incidents recorded by police in England and Wales had increased by 41% in the months since Brexit. So it’s now more important than ever that the next generation understands what happens when hate is allowed to prevail.
The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘How can life go on?’. The theme is intended to encourage us to think about the wider implications of genocide.
For example, it asks us to think about how survivors can come to terms with their experiences, and whether they or their community can ever forgive the perpetrators of genocide.
It asks us also to think about if and how justice can be reached for victims, and how communities can rebuild after being subjected to genocide.
These are all fascinating points to raise with your students and will help them to truly comprehend the impact of genocide on both an individual and a community.
If you’re currently planning, or thinking about planning a school history trip focusing on the Nazis and the Holocaust, you may like to consider these thought-provoking visits:
Of course, there really is no better visit for helping students to comprehend the scale of the Holocaust than Auschwitz. It will be a very difficult visit for many of your students, as they see for themselves where the victims arrived by train, the squalid conditions they were forced to live and work in, and the gas chambers many were murdered in.
Auschwitz was a sombre experience – students came away astonished by the size [of the site] and what happened, determined to share their experience with others and encourage others to visit. There are 20 determined students who believe that the Holocaust should be remembered and taught more in schools. The most valuable reflections and discussions were had that evening – the most amazing and worthwhile trip ever (according to one of our students). Coopers Technology College, Krakow
Not only will your students gain a better understanding of Jewish life in Poland prior to the Nazi occupation and Holocaust, we can also arrange for them to meet a survivor, or a Righteous Among the Nations – a unique experience, and connection to history, that they’ll never forget.
The workshop with a Holocaust survivor, delivered the day after our visit to Auschwitz, was an incredibly moving, heart-wrenching and, ultimately, redemptive experience. Central College Nottingham, Krakow
On 20th January 1942, a number of leading Nazis met at this villa, to discuss the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question’. Here, your students will learn more about how the Holocaust was organised and executed.
An absolutely fantastic city to take secondary students to. Our students loved visiting all of the historical landmarks and found it to be a moving experience, as well as an enjoyable one. Warlingham School, Berlin
For more information, or to request your tailor-made quote, please don't hesitate to contact us.