Hello, my name is Amman and welcome to my blog. I have written two blogs regarding my experience with the Lessons from Auschwitz Educational Project and to tell you more about the events of the Holocaust.
So, where to start...
Firstly, I was fortunate to be selected to take part in the Lessons from Auschwitz Educational Project from the week beginning 9th of June till 17th of June. The Educational project normally would take participants to Auschwitz but had been adapted so it could happen online due to COVID. The main aim of the Lessons from Auschwitz Educational Project scheme was to develop my knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust; as well as the role of Auschwitz Birkenau. I was joined virtually by students from Dudley College and over 100 students from across the UK to learn more about the events of this genocide across 3 interactive sessions plus independent modules. I was sent in the post a reflective diary where I wrote down facts and thoughts during the sessions alongside a pair 3D glasses and additional literature. Nearer to the end of the project, I was also fortunate to listen to a Holocaust survivor and ask questions, this will be elaborated on in my second blog.
While we looked around Auschwitz using the 3D glasses provided. This was a very emotional experience as we had learnt all about the unsanitary experience of the camps where the Jews were stripped from all their needs and were treated like animals. Overall, I found the project very informative and it shows that the capability of humans if we do not speak up against the evil in this world.
At the end of the project, we had to bring all our learning together in a reflective statement which you can read below: ‘The mass murder of Jews by the Nazi’s and their collaborators.’
This is a definition from one of the worst genocides which has took place on this earth. A definition which most of us recognise but can never start to comprehend. The Holocaust was the death of six million Jews between 1941 and 1945. This unfortunate statistic shows us the severity of the genocide while it is simply unjust and unsympathetic not to contemplate that this was the death of six million individual humans. From Women, Children and the Elderly. They were all persecuted for their faith; backed by a built-up stereotype for losing the war. Some saw their faith as secondary from nationality. Others did not practice their faith but were born into it. The Holocaust was an attempted mission to eradicate an entire religion from the world.
‘Speak out against those who do bad as the silence from those who do good allowed evil to prevail in society.’
This was the main message I gained upon listening to Holocaust Survivor, Manfred Goldberg. This statement struck me as it is difficult to comprehend how the Holocaust was planned and carried out by humans. From the unfortunate victims, perpetrators and collaborators they were all human. People like you and me. The events of the Holocaust were not down to just one person...
This genocide was the tactical murder of Jews.
The Nazi’s and its collaborators used Labour and concentration camps as well as instant fire to murder their victims. For example, one of the main camps known Auschwitz-Birkenau saw an unfortunate 1.1 million murdered there. This was a site which was made up by a system of camps which included a majority of Labour camps, 49. Originally this site was to hold Polish political prisoners which shows us that while the Jews were the Nazis main target, the Holocaust led to the downfall of other groups in society too. Just imagine being stripped of all your worldly possessions, not knowing when your next chance to eat/drink will be and working for hours on end. The Nazi’s treated the victims of the Holocaust as inhumane and worthless beings.
The remaining evidence and stories such as Manfred’s show us how we can never even start to understand the persecution faced.
To summarise, the Holocaust shows us the capability of the human race and this is why it is important we speak out against any injustice in society. I firmly believe it is important to remember the Holocaust as the sheer silence from bystanders was deafening. If this was due to fear of speaking out, agreeing views; it reminds us about our voice in society and how it can have an impact. The hatred towards of the Jews was not one built over a day but over years. It is project such as these which remind us that we should never fall in the trap of becoming silent upon seeing wrongdoing including hate crimes against religion/genocides. While the events of the Holocaust can not be compared to the injustices of today, it is a reminder of the world we live in...