Auschwitz horrors shocked pupils
A display case of human hair in a former concentration camp room revealed the extent of the holocaust to Campbeltown pupils during a recent visit to the notorious camp. James Ives, 17, said: ‘When we went into one room there were these long display cases, running the length of the room, full of human hair which the Nazis collected to industrially manufacture into material.’ ‘We did not pay attention to the actual length of the room,’ added Shona Bassett, 17. ‘It just struck you in the first building of Auschwitz One.’ Before last month’s trip to the Polish camp, where at least 1.1 million people were exterminated by the Nazis, a survivor spoke to the pupils. James continued: ‘Eva Clark, who was born in Auschwitz on April 29, 1945, spoke on behalf of the Holocaust Educational Trust which organised the one-day trip. ‘It is important to learn about what happened so that we can tell the next generation who will not have the chance to speak to survivors.’ The Polish part of the trip began in Oświęcim which is 35 miles west of Kraków and the site of Auschwitz, the Germanic version of the town’s name. When the pair spoke to the Courier, Shona said: ‘I do not think we have had enough time to process everything we saw.’ James added: ‘Even in the short time that we have been back we have a more concise view. The sheer size was mind-boggling. ‘It’s just guard tower after guard tower. They were still growing the camp when the war ended. ‘We saw a glimpse of the horror that the people went through. It is completely horrific, a reminder of what hate is capable of doing and it must never happen again.’
Shona Bassett and James Ives back at Campbeltown Grammar School.