Scottish first minister visits Auschwitz

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon underscored at a visit to the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau that, the “horrific crimes against humanity” perpetrated there should never be forgotten.

During a short stay in Poland with 200 students and teachers from Scottish schools, as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s "Lessons from Auschwitz Project", Nicola Sturgeon visited the southern Polish town of Oświęcim on Tuesday, where before the war as much as 58 percent of the population was Jewish. She also visited the nearby barracks and crematoria of the former German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

"It is a privilege to join pupils from across Scotland on the Lessons from Auschwitz visit to Poland and experience first-hand with them the sites where horrific crimes against humanity took place," Nicola Sturgeon commented.

"We must ensure the Holocaust is never forgotten," she continued. "The work of the Holocaust Educational Trust is vital in educating young people about the Holocaust and what can happen if prejudice and racism become acceptable in society. I’m proud the Scottish government is able to support them to continue their important work and I am honoured to be participating in this visit."

On Tuesday evening, the Scottish first minister published several pictures of her trip to Poland on her Twitter account.

"Home from an emotional day at Auschwitz-Birkenau with @HolocaustUK. It’s hard to put into words the impact. The sheer scale of the horror and the remnants of so many lives - the shoes, suitcases, photos - is hard to comprehend," she Tweeted.

The Lessons from Auschwitz project has been running for 19 years. During that time, some 37,000 UK students have visited Auschwitz, more than 4,000 of them from Scotland. Each visit is preceded by a meeting with a Holocaust survivor, who presents the context and talks about the pre-war life of the Jewish community.