A GROUP of Hartlepool youngsters are currently in Poland visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as part of a Holocaust memorial project.
The visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration camp was discussed by councillors at a recent meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council’s children’s services committee.
Youngsters will be visiting barracks and shown registration documents, piles of shoes, clothes and other items seized from the prisoners as they entered the camps in the Second World War.
On their return to Hartlepool, they will create a book for all schools in town.
The purpose of the report was to let members know about the on-going work being carried out in relation to Holocaust Memorial activities ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day,
January 27, 2015 which is themed “Keep the Memory Alive”.
The town’s Youth Support Service had been approached by the Holocaust Memorial Trust alongside the council’s education division to support the development of a series of Holocaust events in Hartlepool late last year.
A number of events were held with young people in the build-up to Holocaust Memorial Day in January next year.
As part of that work the youngsters said they wanted to go on a visit to Auschwitz – Birkenau to build on the events and working with officers look to develop a book for all schools for young people in preparation for the forthcoming memorial events.
The five day visit, which is taking place this week, was made possible by the fundraising efforts of the group. Meanwhile, the Youth Support Services, Education and ITV Fixers had provided funding to enable the visit and events to go ahead as planned.
The council’s children’s services committee acknowledged the importance of “maintaining young people’s cultural awareness” through the project and it was also noted that the youngsters would present an update on the project to a future meeting of the committee.
Labour councillor Chris Simmons, chairman of the committee, urged councillors to support the young people by attending as many of the organised events as possible.
Members wished them well and hoped they would feel “enriched by the experience”.