Reporter Ross Thomson on horrors of Auschwitz

Auschwitz visit by Ross Thomson
Auschwitz visit by Ross Thomson
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WHEN I was asked to accompany local school pupils on their trip to Auschwitz I did so with some degree of trepidation.

Like so many of us I’ve read books and watched documentaries on The Holocaust and thought I knew quite a bit on the subject.

Given that my dad works in Germany and anytime I have visited him I’ve always found the people there to be nothing other than warm and friendly, I’ve often wondered how the grandfathers of my dad’s friends and work colleagues could have committed such barbaric cruelty and murder on an industrial scale.

I knew that what I was going to see would be harrowing but nothing can prepare you for seeing the real thing.

The site of the gas chambers is now home to a memorial to those who perished and while we were there I encountered a group of Israeli students carrying several of their nation’s flags.

I can only imagine how incredibly poignant it must have been for them.

As I left Poland I wondered why a relatively modernised country allowed itself to be brainwashed by Hitler?

Why did other countries allow it to happen?

Could it have happened here in Britain?

I think everyone should see Auschwitz at least once in their life. I came away with more questions than answers.

For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Gazette.