On the night of the 2015-16 last School day, a group of 30 students from Y9 and Y10 travelled to Berlin, Germany, and later to Krakow in Poland. The aim of the trip was to investigate not only what happened during the holocaust, but also to grapple with the challenge of why it happened and why good people, who had never committed a crime before, were willing to either commit atrocities, or not act to prevent them. The students also investigated how and why some people resisted and worked to save lives, with visits to the German resistance museum and meeting an individual bestowed with the title ‘Righteous among the Nations’.
The trip was intensive and involved walking tours each day, tracing the story of individuals and investigating the actions of leaders in various fields, on both sides of the moral spectrum. The students were an absolute credit to the School in all they did. They demonstrated tremendous resilience and adaptability, and were praised wherever they went for not only their manners and attentive listening, but also their intellectual curiosity and the sensitive and thoughtful nature of the questions they asked. The biggest challenge on the trip was probably the visit to Auschwitz-Birkeneau, the Nazi concentration and death camp. It was on this day that many students really realised the incredible value of compassion and fairness when making decisions as a leader and they left the gates of the camp determined to ensure what happened within it’s walls should never happen again.