From May 6th to May 9th GSD organised a Study Trip to Krakow, Poland. Students had the opportunity to visit many places in few days; such as Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, the Schindler’s Museum, the Salt Mine and the Krakow’s city tour. Please see here some of the responses from students of the study trip:
‘Krakow was an impressive place, a beautiful city full of history and nice restaurants I think we enjoyed it not only because the good spirit of the group, but also because of the well-organised trip by the GSD staff, as we had the opportunity to visit so many places in few days. These four days were full of emotions (good and bad because of the Camps), great interaction between students and the GSD staff, and fruitful to get to know more about Polish history’.
‘The place that made the biggest impression on me, was Auschwitz/Birkenau. The sheer magnitude of the events that took place there are the reason I found these places the most compelling during the trip. The fact that human beings could do the things they did to other humans there, but in such a cold, calculating, and systematic manner is beyond comprehension. For me, as a former ‘student’ of history (particularly military history) it was very interesting to visit a place where so much of what I’ve previously studied occurred. ‘
‘I decided to join the study trip for Poland because I thought it would be a great opportunity. Among the places we have visited, the concentration camps were the most famous. We have heard about them at school, seen them in movies but WWII is such a broad topic that we could not study every detail. Visiting the places where what we have been taught took place feels much more different than studying it and watching videos. The actual evidence is there; it is a very emotional experience and I am glad I have lived it. Walking where brave people have endured things that sound unbearable definitely should make one realise how real it was and we even learned more about what happened between the walls of the camps and seen the living conditions of those brave people.’
‘I joined the study trip because I wanted to discover a new country, one that I have never been to. I have never even stepped into Eastern Europe, until I went to Poland. I think the place that made the biggest impression on me was Auschwitz – when I studied history for my A Levels, Hitler was a massive topic and reading about the Holocaust, and studying it obviously impacts any student a certain way, but when I saw the concentration camps with my own eyes, the words and numbers on history books, it became a real place with real people (we even saw the hair, the brushes and some items belonging to the victims). Thankfully, I loved everything about Poland – the architecture and the food were the best. The interaction with everyone was amazing, and we all bonded really well, and laughed a lot.’
‘The study trip to Poland offered us the opportunity to make history tangible and remind us why international relations and diplomacy is so important. Schindlers Factory and Auschwitz left a lasting impression on all of us. During our free time me and a classmate did a bus tour of Krakow and saw the ghetto. Luckily we were able to relax too. I did some great shopping and every night we had dinner as a group in many of Krakow’s nice restaurants and enjoyed Krakows great nightlife very much. Looking forward to the next study trip!’
‘One of the most remarkable trips in my life. A trip that provokes and intensifies the humanitarian ‘component’ that each and every one of us carries intrinsically. In this regard, the Schindler’s Factory and the Auschwitz visits were the most striking parts of this trip. Visiting the places where happened some of the cruelest events in the 20th century makes one think profoundly about not only the reasons of our education but also the ultimate reasons of our being on this earth. The visits make you feel and somehow experience the times and those horrific situations that the affected people went through. One of the saddest moments was the visit of one of the barracks in the Auschwitz where the hairs, ashes, and the shoes of thousands of people exterminated are preserved. Some of the shoes were so small that made you visualise that little 3/4-year-old baby just moments before the horror. These people were asked to take off their clothes and were misleadingly told that they were going to take a shower while in fact they were taken to the gas chambers. As a man who experienced the war, as a father, as a teacher, as a human being, I can’t but be even more committed to doing all in my might in order to help educate (young) students and educate myself that such evil things remain, once and for all, part of our history!
All in all, I trust that this experience will make us think and do much more in order to render our societies as peaceful and as just as possible. A visit incomparable to others.”
To see the pictures of the Study Trip 2017, please click here.