MORE than 100 southside youngsters have already had the chance to travel to Auschwitz to learn about the Holocaust during the last four years.
Now, many more will have the opportunity to take part in the day-long trip, as the Holocaust Educational Trust will have funding for their Lessons from Auschwitz project extended by the Scottish government.
The initiative gives two senior pupils from every secondary school in Scotland the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau to learn first-hand about the atrocities that occurred at Nazi concentration camps.
Angela Constance, minister for skills and lifelong learning, confirmed last week at a celebration evening for the scheme, that £214,000 will be provided by Holyrood to fund trips in 2011/2012.
Last year, a journalist from The Extra was invited along to report on the trip and the often-moving experiences of the youths from high schools such as St Ninian’s, Holyrood, Bellahouston Academy and Mearns Castle.
Eastwood High school sixth year history pupil Daniel McIntosh attended the trip in October along with classmate Gemma Egan.
He told The Extra: “It is shocking to think that people would actually be capable of taking part in what happened.
“Part of what is interesting about having travelled to Auschwitz is the perspective I have gained when I challenge my own perception and try and think how I would cope in the same situation”.
St Ninian’s sixth year pupil Sean Edgar added: “Nothing can prepare you for seeing the discarded family photos which give a window into the lives of those who suffered in Auschwitz”.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, added: “We are dedicated to educating young people about the Holocaust and its contemporary significance.
“We are confident that previous visitors will continue to educate members of their community so that racism and hatred do not go unchecked”.
Commenting, MSP Stewart Maxwell, said: “Lessons from Auschwitz gives young people in Scotland the opportunity to obtain a real insight into the suffering of the victims of the Holocaust.
“I believe it is particularly important that young people learn about the atrocities to help understand the importance of standing up to senseless hatred and discrimination in our society”.