In 2016, Year 13 pupil Megan Hill wrote an anonymous letter to our Head of History, Mr Hogg as part of an application process to visit Auschwitz. After a successful application, Megan and fellow student Sally Cadogan, travelled to Poland in February 2016 with The Holocaust Educational Trust, to visit Auschwitz.
The Holocaust Educational Trust was established in 1988, aiming to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today. The Trust works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach programme for schools, teaching aids and resource material. The Trust works with Parliament and the media to help spread understanding of the Holocaust.
Megan and Sally met with a ‘Holocaust Educator’ who took them on a journey from Kraków, to the pre-war Jewish site at Oświęcim to see where the Jewish community had thrived before the war.
The girls went on to tour Auschwitz & Auschwitz Birkenau, where they faced a tough day, learning about Nazi Germany’s cruel history.
“We visited this concentration and extermination camp along with The Holocaust Educational Trust,” said Megan. “This is a project which runs on the premise that hearing is not like seeing. It is a four-part course, which highlights what we should learn from the Holocaust and how these lessons are relevant to life today. Its aim is for young people to understand what can happen if racism and prejudice become acceptable and how an event like the Holocaust can never happen again. It was an experience that continues to shape my life and steer me in a direction that I never knew could be possible.”
Upon returning home, Megan filled out an application form to be a Regional Ambassador for The Holocaust Educational Trust, which proved to be successful. In April 2017, Megan attended an event at The Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay to help pick the winning design for a new Holocaust memorial at The Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster. Megan had a busy year representing Wales and our region, finally visiting London in July to collect her award for completing the Ambassador Programme.
Fast forward to January 2018 and Megan attended the Holocaust Memorial Day event in Cardiff City Hall with fellow pupil Luke Walker, who is one of four pupils taking part in the Lessons from Auschwitz programme this year. This spring, Megan has been working alongside other ambassadors from across the United Kingdom to promote the Defend the Truth Appeal that will be featuring heavily across social media to combat Holocaust denial that is sadly still prominent online.
“Please take the time to watch our video*; it is of vital importance that we all remember the atrocity of The Holocaust, especially in this current culture of fake news, the truth needs to be told and now you can bear witness.”
Maesteg School is extremely proud of Megan and her passionate and sensitive approach to her role as Regional Ambassador for The Holocaust Educational Trust. We would like to congratulate her for striving to share the truth about the Holocaust and for her outstanding representation of Maesteg School, we are extremely proud of her dedication to such an important cause.
*Please note that this film contains flashing images and content that some viewers may find upsetting. Click the link below to view the video on Vimeo: