A PAIR of students from Malmesbury School travelled to infamous Second World War concentration camp Auschwitz to find out about the atrocities committed during the Holocaust.

Samantha Dunne and Rhiannon Cole joined nearly 200 pupils from schools across the South West in visiting two of the main Auschwitz camps as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust’s(HET), Lessons from Auschwitz Project.

The two Year 12 students were given a guided tour of the camp, where 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were murdered by the Nazis.

Rhiannon said: “The most powerful thing about the trip was just seeing the pieces of hair and the people’s belongings. It was emotional to realise that they were real people too.

“It was hard-hitting. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when we went. We had a tour guide from Auschwitz and a rabbi with us. The rabbi brought an extra aspect to it.”

Samantha said the most emotional moment for her in the trip was when the girls lit some candles at a memorial service at Auschwitz Birkenau camp.

Auschwitz was the largest of the Nazi death camps and is described as the most efficient mass-killing centre ever created.

The girls will talk about their trip to Year 9 students at Malmesbury School who are currently studying a project on genocide that occurred in Rwanda in the 1990s.

Matt Bryant, a history teacher from the school who is supervising the project, said: “We are very keen to teach students about genocide and issues around that, and issues around bullying in the community.”

The HET programme was set up in 1988 and organises annual trips to Auschwitz.