Rushden students learn firsthand about horrors of Holocaust

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz
Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

Two students from Rushden Academy discovered first-hand the horrors carried out in a Second World War concentration camp in a visit organised by the Holocaust Education Trust.

Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams, who are both in Year 12, travelled to Auschwitz in Poland for the one day trip.

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

To prepare for the visit, Jess and Jasmine met Susan Pollack MBE, who survived not only Auschwitz but also a notorious Death March to Belsen-Bergen.

The 85-year-old shared her story of growing up as a young Jewish girl and how friends and neighbours turned on her family as anti-semitism swept through Poland.

On the day of their visit, Jasmine and Jess left Rushden at 3.30am to catch the first flight to Krakow, Poland.

They said they were taken by surprise by the innocuous location of Auschwitz at the end of a ‘normal’ road and overlooked by houses.

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

The former Polish Army barracks now attracts thousands of visitors a year. The girls had a tour of the concentration camp and were moved by many of the distressing sights including four tonnes of hair, 80,000 pairs of shoes whose owners had been gassed, hundreds of suitcases with the names of children on and 800 photos of prisoners in their infamous blue and white striped pyjamas with a number and no name.

Later, candles were lit and placed on the railway in remembrance of the 1.2 million people who had lost their lives at Auschwitz.

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz

Images captured by Rushden Academy students Jess Renew and Jasmine Maddams during their visit to Auschwitz