Year 9's Holocaust Experience

Year 9 went to London to visit the Imperial War Museum in London - specifically the Holocaust exhibition.

Pupil Sam Jackson writes eloquently about the trip below.

We were greeted by a guide, who was herself Jewish so knew lots about Judaism and why Jews were one of the biggest targets during the Holocaust, and gave us a good overview of knowledge about the Holocaust. She taught us about what the Holocaust was, who was involved, when and where it took place and that not only at least six-million Jews where targeted, but millions of other groups such as minority ethnic groups, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, Jehovah's witnesses and many more.

We spent an hour and a half in the exhibit, although we all agreed that we could have spent many more hours in there – there was a lot of information displayed to read and absorb. Luckily, we had exhibit audio guides which told us the key information to help us make sure we saw as much as possible of every section – there was a lot to take in.

The atmosphere of the exhibit was not like that of any other museum many of us had been to. There were mixed feelings – shock, disgust, horror, empathy, sadness, and sudden realisation. Previously, we had all learnt about the Holocaust in our RS lessons, so had very solid foundations in the topic, however, it is not until you hear an individual's survivor story in the Holocaust focused atmosphere, stand in a cattle truck and wonder how on earth hundreds of people stood in a similar truck, and still managed to survive, or find out exactly the motives of the Nazi's actions, the horror of the Holocaust turns from facts, figures and writing, into real life.

Not only did we leave the museum with a deeper understanding of the events of the Holocaust, we developed the ability to understand that each and every person effected by the Holocaust, were just like us. The more we saw, the more we realised that they lived like we do, until one day when they gradually became more and more dehumanised. We all left saddened, but grateful for our deeper understanding of the Holocaust and a deeper appreciation for the effects of hatred and prejudice. It helped add a deeper emotional understanding of the Holocaust to our already deep theoretical understanding.