HET: LFA My Personal Reflective Statement


Hey guys, I thought this would be a good thing to post about since everyone can learn from it. I had the opportunity to go to Poland in 2013 and visit the famous German Nazi concentration and extermination camp called Auschwitz, it was the largest camp to be built and 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives there. I went for free as apart of the organisation Holocaust Educational Trust - Lessons from Auschwitz (HET/LFA), two people from my 6th form including myself got to go to Poland with many students from other schools. But before we were allowed to embark on this journey we had to attend a couple of workshops to develop our understanding of what happened back then and how it affect us to this day. Then we headed off to Gatwick Airport at early hours of the morning as this was only a day trip, you can see my whole journey on my YouTube page (link in the side bar), after we came back to England we had to write a personal statement (below) and create something to spread the message of the holocaust during WW2, which I did in the form of a YouTube video.


 Lessons From Auschwitz was with out a doubt one of the best things that has ever happened to me, it has been a life changing experience. I know that it is a bit of a cliché but it is the truth I wouldn’t be here without the encouragement of my teacher or Abdul to help me through the visit to Auschwitz. As well as the assisting seminars that helped me to accumulate the lessons that have taught me from visiting Auschwitz and will continue to teach me throughout my life.

Not a single day has passed without myself thinking about the day I visited Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau on the 21st of March 2013, it seems like a long time gone but even the memory of standing at the sign ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ still haunts me to this day but still having the slight feeling of guilt coinciding as knowing that I got to leave that place but many others were not able to.

The now famous gate to the Auschwitz camp has become a place where crowds gather to photograph or video the sign, a way of making sure people at back at home know that you were really there. But does that make an impact on them? No, I don’t think it does, without actually being able to make others understand that it isn’t about the sign or proving that you were there but to make people influenced by the lessons that you have learnt is the most important.

We created a video documenting photos of our journey and facts to accompany them; we uploaded the video on the no.1 Internet video site YouTube to target a broader audience first instead of tailoring it to each individual group as some younger audiences might be age sensitive although this is very important to take into consideration I did not want to rush projects like this one. This being I wanted them to have time to take in and understand what was being told therefore our plans will be to continue these presentations and videos across the next and final year of our college lives.

As my duty as an ambassador I want to educate that ‘seeing is not like hearing’ and it is true because you always hear the stories of what happened in Auschwitz and other various camps but to go there and see it for yourself is another level of understanding that only a handful get to experience and I was luckily to be one of the only few. These places and its survivors won’t be here forever it is our job to keep the memory and its teachings going.

I wish to do more and I will do more as I grow and develop, I want to teach furthermore present the lessons that not only I have learnt but my fellow friends have learnt while going to Auschwitz.

There is so much more I could be able to write but no amount of words would be able to explain the disgust in addition to the overall feelings felt, something we cannot convey…

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