My school goes to Auschwitz ...

Memoshoá started a new project with schools. We carry out study visits with students and teachers to Krakow and Auschwitz. These trips allow direct contact with the memory spaces of the Holocaust and World War II. In 2016 we started this project with the Quinta do Marquês Secondary School in Oeiras. This year we have new destinations.

         

If you want to participate with your school, send us a email to memoshoa@gmail.com

Quinta do Marquês Secondary School, Oeiras

01 to 04 June 2016

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   "The day we forget what man did to man in Auschwitz will be the darkest day in history. That's why it's so important remember the past and not forget, because only the naive believe that mistakes are not repeated. It is, now more than ever, imperative that we become aware of this, at a time when extremist parties rise, waves of xenophobia reappear, and the promise of order and happiness seduces the credulous more and more.

Kraków is a beautiful, sunny city, and the Poles deconstructed my prejudiced image of Slavs, closed, sober, not smiling. However, we can see that Soviet dominance still remains an open wound in the elderly. The Nazi presence is not such a delicate subject. It's the healing properties of time. That's why this fact becomes the cause and effect of his investigation, and that's why we were allowed to make this unforgettable trip, with two fabulous guides. Of all the routes taken through the city (from the Kazimierz Jewish quarter to the ghetto, passing through the Plászow labor camp and Auschwitz I and II), what makes the experience of the Holocaust the most terrible is certainly the way in which everything was devised, and the subtlety with which the plan was executed. And with an inhuman crudity, everything happened: first, the coded language, the social control, the apparent reason in everything that happened, leaving the calm and peaceful masses at the mercy of the Germans. Then, and on the contrary, the absence of rules in a world apart, which were the fields, the refinements of cruelty, the total depersonalization of the victims... I felt the field as something abstract. It didn't give me goosebumps, there wasn't a different smell, nor an especially heavy silence. It was just one place, it could have happened anywhere  other, with others. We were already expecting death when we entered there, so nothing surprised us. What brought tears to his eyes was not death but life. Because the millions of victims are numbers and statistics are always cold, but finding ourselves face to face with photographs, stories, lives, so banal and similar to ours, we find the true purpose of this visit. May no man ever cease to be a man due to lack of humanity."

Beatriz Sousa, ESQM, 12ºF, June 2016

 

testimonies of students 

  "Why did I enjoy the trip to Krakow?

There was room for everything, the activities were managed very well. The support infrastructures were very helpful and flexible.

The group was always united and, despite all the sentimental weight that the holocaust theme can convey, there was always room for jokes and good humor".

Francisco Gomes, ESQM, 12ºF, June 2016

    The experience of visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau was extremely remarkable and intense.

Before I left, I spent days trying to mentally prepare myself for everything I was going to see and learn. It was of no use.

Turning the statistics on Holocaust deaths into guys, into people, was the hardest part. Seeing that all those people were innocent and that, behind every story, there was a happy family...

However, as Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, said, “as difficult as it is, not paying tribute to them and not facing what happened is almost like a second death”.

Now I can say: I saw human evil up close and it is illusory to believe that something like this will not happen again."

Sofia Monteiro, ESQM, 12ºF, June 2016