Steve joins Croydon children at Auschwitz

 In Croydon, News

Steve Reed MP joined Croydon North students on a visit to Auschwitz where they learned about the horrors of the Nazi death camps.

Students walked round a Jewish cemetery desecrated by the Nazis, toured the site where terrifying experiments were carried out on children and pregnant women, and ventured inside the Nazis’ first gas chamber.   During the period that Auschwitz-Birkenau was in operation over 1.3m people perished there, including hundreds of thousands of children.   Over 95% of victims were Jews who were murdered as part of Adolf Hitler’s hate-fuelled attempt to exterminate Europe’s entire Jewish population.

The visit organised by the Holocaust Education Trust included students from Harris South Norwood Academy and Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College.   Among the most moving exhibits at the former concentration camp were warehouses filled with shoes, clothing and personal belongings stolen from Jews before they were gassed to death.   One of the most horrific sights was a room piled high with the hair shaved off murdered women and girls to be woven into cloth.

Speaking during the visit, Steve Reed MP commented: “this is without doubt the most emotionally challenging visit I’ve ever taken part in.  The depravity that took place at Auschwitz is beyond comprehension.  The industrial scale of the mass murder of Jews and others targeted by the Nazis is simply shocking.  We’ve come here today to remember those who died, but also to remember what happens if we tolerate hatred or bigotry towards those who are different from ourselves.  None of us who came here today will leave unchanged.  Although it’s been hard for them, I’m impressed by the students who have come to learn this lesson from history so that this dark period of human history can never be repeated.”