Portsmouth youngsters give assemblies on concentration camp horrors

VISIT Lucy Moore and Billie Downer
VISIT Lucy Moore and Billie Downer

PICTURE GALLERY: Fareham Academy Christmas fair

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TWO students who visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland as part of a project to educate young people about the horrors of war shared their experiences to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Lucy Moore and Billie Downer, from Portsmouth Grammar School were among 300 students from the south east of England who went on the emotional trip, which was run by The Holocaust Educational Trust.

The 16-year-olds talked about their experiences to fellow pupils in assemblies throughout the week as they said it was important to raise awareness – so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Lucy said: ‘In 1935 there was huge prolonged economic depression, increasing unemployment and dissatisfaction with governments right across European states, so people looked for a way out.

‘Desperate times call for desperate measures, and to those people, Hitler was their desperate measure.

‘Look at today’s economic climate – we’re in another recession, eight per cent of our population is unemployed and even more in many parts of Europe.

‘There are riots in the streets and the people are clamouring for the government to sort our country out.’

After describing the haunting camp still with clothes and belongings of the victims, Billie added: ‘They all survived the Holocaust, but not their owners.’