02 November 2012

Methodist Youth President visits Auschwitz

  • Lessons from the Holocaust

The Methodist Youth President, Hayley Moss, will visit a former Nazi extermination camp on Wednesday (7 November) after she was selected to represent the British Youth Council on a one-day visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Hayley Moss will be among a group of young people chosen by the British Youth Council to fly out to Poland where they will spend the day learning about the brutal massacre of Jews at Auschwitz under the anti-Semitic Nazi regime. 

Hayley said: "All my life I have loved learning about history; the stories of ordinary - and simultaneously extraordinary - people. Each person who ever lived has had a story; a soul that was and is precious and to be valued. It blows my mind that people's lives, their stories, their tragedies and delights and betrayals can fade away, be forgotten. I am fascinated by how stories from the past can shape our lives and our thinking today. The Holocaust is an event which has had a massive impact on our society; on who we are as humanity."

The day will begin with a visit to a pre-war Jewish site in the Polish town of Oświęcim where the young delegation will learn more about the lives of the victims so that they are able to re-humanise them as individuals. The delegates will then visit Auschwitz-Birkenau where they will tour the Holocaust sites. The day will culminate in a memorial ceremony held next to the destroyed crematoria II led by Rabbi Barry Marcus of the Central Synagogue.

"For me, this visit won't just be a day, but one day in a lifetime of days in which I want to be intentionally aware of my humanity, and challenge others to do the same," Hayley continued. "As Youth President of the Methodist Church I will have many opportunities to share this reflective journey with children and young people; it could contribute strongly to our current focus on Israel and Palestine."

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