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A WST experience: St Edmund Arrowsmith visit Krakow

Wednesday November 26, 2014

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Having studied the Holocaust in class, it was important for Jacqueline that her pupils, a group of 14-15 year olds, gained a real understanding of what the Jewish population in Krakow experienced during World War Two. "I wanted to enhance the students’ knowledge," she says, explaining the purpose of the trip. "I wanted them to become even more aware of the Jewish faith and the suffering endured by millions during the Nazi regime."

The trip, over November, visited a number of sites, including Auschwitz; the largest of the Nazi's concentration camps which saw the deaths of over 1.1 million. It was important to Jacqueline that the students also went to the Krakow ghettos in order to experience their learnings first hand. "We wanted them to walk in the same streets,” she comments. "We wanted them to experience what they had read about in the classroom."

Speaking about the trip, it becomes clear that Jacqueline wanted to give her students perspective; an understanding of this sensitive subject. “They realised that these people were human beings, just like they were. It really brought it home," she affirms.

Following the trip to Krakow and Auschwitz, the tour then visited the Wieliczka Salt Mines; a location that, according to Jacqueline, 'took the students’ breath away.' She believes that the attraction added an enormous amount of value to the trip, offering a change of focus from the Auschwitz tour. "A lot of the students said this was their favourite part of the trip," she says.

As Jacqueline had a specific budget, she explains how WST were extremely flexible and helpful in advising on sites and accommodation. "I’d always recommend schools use WST travel because they asked me exactly what I wanted and then they adapted the trip for me.

"They really just did draw the whole trip together and make it run so smoothly from the moment we got there until we left," she continues.