Two Bridgwater & Taunton College A Level students, Jonathan Brown and Jacob Cunningworth, were lucky enough to have taken part in the Belsen 75 Project last month.
Bergen-Belsen was a German concentration camp that was liberated in 1945, the project is honouring the 75th anniversary since the former camp was liberated by British forces.
The project comprises of 4 parts and runs over a number of weeks, all parts are compulsory.
Part 1 of the project was a pre-visit seminar. Students learnt about the historical context of Bergen-Belsen in relation to the Holocaust through testimony and archive material and prepare for their visit to the former camp. There was also a Belsen survivor who spoke to the whole group about life in Bergen-Belsen. The seminar was informative and prepared the students well for their visit to Germany.
I was very proud of Jacob and Jonathan – they made intelligent observations and contributed well in the group format. Jacob asked a question of the Belsen survivor in front of 200+ other students and teachers. They are very bright and engaged students.
Kathy Nourse, Lecturer.
Part 2 of the project involved a 1-day trip to Germany, students visited the site of Bergen-Belsen and the exhibition centre, led by our educators from the Holocaust Memorial Trust and a German tour guide. Our two students, Jonathan and Jacob, distinguished themselves by asking pertinent questions and making insightful comments.
Part 3 of the project was to attend a reflection and legacy seminar. Students reflected on the visit and started to discuss ideas surrounding how to share their experience through the Legacy Project. They discussed their reactions from the visit to Bergen-Belsen and Jacob and Jonathan considered how they wanted to share their experiences and knowledge with the Bridgwater and Taunton college community.
We have increased our historical understanding, but it has also developed us personally as we have reflected upon the challenging content of this period of history and the significance that prejudice and hatred are still part of global society.
Kathy Nourse, Lecturer
Part 4 of the project involves the students taking part in a legacy project. They have to design and carry out a project to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. The students will be submitting this piece in April.
The project has been a fantastic opportunity for both the students and the lecturer that accompanied them. They have learnt a great deal about the former camp and are looking forward to educating others in the Colleges community about the camp and its extensive history.
For more information about the Belsen 75 Project, click here