One of the most important (and difficult) topics to teach your students about is the Holocaust. It’s heavy subject matter and shrouded in tragedy – and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin. An educational trip is a great way to encourage your students to understand the realities and the consequences of the Holocaust by visiting museums, seeing artefacts and participating in workshops. Whether you’re planning to go abroad or stay in the UK, there are plenty of educational options and places around. Read on to discover what they are. |
Imperial War Museums, UK
Imperial War Museums (IWM) is made up of five museums and sites, covering wartime history from WWI to present day. Its IWM North branch in Manchester has an extensive Holocaust section with many learning sessions perfect for classes on an educational trip.
• People and Objects – Students will deepen their understanding of the Holocaust, its legacy and the affect it had and continues to have on peoples’ lives by hearing personal stories and looking at artefacts. However, it is worth noting that previous knowledge of the subject is imperative. • Life in Germany 1919-1939 – This session will give insight into how the lives of those living in Germany were impacted by the social, political and economic changes of the time. Students will learn about propaganda and changes in law, and how some prospered from this while others were persecuted.
Anne Frank’s House, Netherlands
Anne Frank is one of the most recognised names associated with the Holocaust; a visit to the museum dedicated to her will give students the opportunity to become better acquainted with her thought-provoking story. They offer a programme specifically designed for secondary schools on an educational trip: The World of Anne Frank. Your class will learn about Frank, her life and diary, the persecution the Jews experienced and WWII.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland
No educational trip focusing on the Holocaust would be complete without a visit to Auschwitz, perhaps the most infamous concentration and extermination camp. Now a museum, it offers a selection of interactive classes and workshops for students. Here are just a few examples:
• Function and Meaning of Art in KL Auschwitz – A presentation on artwork created by the camp’s prisoners, with the goal of showing students how, why and under what conditions these pieces were made. • Prisoners from Bohemia – The stories of Czech citizens are told, focusing on Jewish persecution and extermination and the history of the Theresienstadt ghetto. It is supplemented with powerful photographs, drawings and eyewitness accounts. • The Struggle and Martyrdom of the Poles from 1939-1945 – This workshop is dedicated to the occupation of Poland during this period of the war. Its purpose is to teach about what life was like for the Poles, the fights for independence and the resistance movement.
Planning Your Visit
To help you teach your students about this sensitive subject, consider allowing them to see the concentration camps, hideout houses and museums firsthand.
If you’re thinking about taking your students on an educational trip to learn about the Holocaust, it can be helpful to seek out a specialised educational travel tour operator to help you organise your visit. That way, you’ll have the chance to make the most of your class’s time, no matter how far afield you choose to go.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational trip itineraries for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveller, John is very passionate about providing students with valuable and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. By sharing his expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and bring their studies to life.
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