26 students and 3 staff visited Krakow, Poland, from the 26th -29th August 2018.
The trip, which is Cowley’s second excursion to Poland, had a busy itinerary and included an educational, extended six hour visit to Auschwitz/Birkenau, covering all aspects of the two main camps, plus visits to: Schindler’s Factory, Apteka Pod Orlem Museum, the Kazimierz Jewish District, the Wieliczka Salt Mines and the Gestapo Headquarters and cells in Krakow where Cowley pupils were shown graffiti from former prisoners and given an insight in to life for all citizens in occupied Poland.
The visit also included a tour of the main sights of Krakow and a traditional folklore night. This trip is tailor made for Cowley students and our personal guides went above and beyond to explain the facts and discount the myths from Poland’s recent history.
A tremendously poignant part of the visit was when students also got to meet and speak with Rena, a Holocaust survivor at the Galicia Jewish Museum. Rena offered a very personal insight into her devastating experience of being separated from her mother as a young child. This and the harrowing account of living life constantly in fear helped our students to form a picture of what life was like for the Jews during the Holocaust.
Rena used incredible honesty to explain the facts of historical events coupled with family relationships and friendships to show the strength of human resilience in the face of oppression, but finished with an enlightening reflection of the world today and an encouraging message of hope and forgiveness to pass on to future generations
The visit finished off with something a little different – a trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mines. If you ever get the chance to see them do so, they were incredibly beautiful.
The students who took part in this trip were a credit to the College.