'Remarkable' efforts praised

25th January 2013 at 00:00
Pupils pass on the lessons they learned from a trip to a Nazi extermination camp, writes Emma Seith

The efforts of Aberdeen pupils to promote the lessons learned on a trip to the former Nazi extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, have been described as "remarkable" by the Holocaust Education Trust.

The pupils from four Aberdeen secondaries visited Auschwitz-Birkenau through the trust's Lessons from Auschwitz programme last year. The programme involved senior pupils and their teachers visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau for one day, after which they were tasked with passing on the lessons they had learned.

The Aberdeen schools - St Machar Academy, Kincorth Academy, Albyn School and Portlethen Academy - are collaborating on a number of events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at the end of this month, including radio broadcasts, a showing of the film Downfall, about Adolf Hitler's final 10 days, and a silent walk. The series of events will culminate with two St Machar Academy pupils, Beth Nicoll and Stevie Low, speaking to the Scottish Parliament on 29 January.

Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau; the theme this year is Communities Together: Build a Bridge.

In Aberdeen pupils are planning a week of events, beginning with those who visited Auschwitz talking about their experiences on community radio station SHMU FM.

The day before Holocaust Memorial Day, pupils and teachers will lead a silent walk over five bridges in Aberdeen to commemorate the Holocaust and other genocides.

On the 27th, they will hold a commemoration event at a local shopping centre, where members of the public will be invited to contribute to a puzzle bridge that Kincorth Academy has built. The bridge was separated and a piece sent to each of the schools involved, so they could decorate it. The pieces will then be put back together to show how well we all fit together, even though we are different.


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