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Nicola Sturgeon joins schoolchildren for Auschwitz visit

The First Minister spoke out against prejudice and racism after tour of former concentration camp.

Horrors: Six million Jews died during the Holocaust.
Horrors: Six million Jews died during the Holocaust.

Nicola Sturgeon has joined 200 Scottish schoolchildren on a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The First Minister's group first travelled to Oswiecim, the town where the camp was located and where, before the war, 58% of the population was Jewish.

They then went on to Auschwitz to see the former camp's barracks and crematoria, as well as the piles of belongings that were seized by the Nazis.

Finally, they visited the main killing centre of Birkenau, where the day concluded with candle lighting and a period of reflection to remember the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust and the other victims of Nazi persecution.

The visit was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust as part of their Lessons from Auschwitz project.

Ms Sturgeon said: "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.

"We must ensure the Holocaust is never forgotten. 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 a 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."

Karen Pollock, chief executive for the Holocaust Educational Trust, added: "We are grateful to the First Minister for joining us on this trip to Auschwitz, which reflects her strong personal commitment to the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

"The Lessons from Auschwitz Project is a vital part of our work, allowing young people to learn about the Holocaust in a way they cannot in the classroom.

"The visit enables young people to see for themselves where racism, prejudice and antisemitism can ultimately lead, and its importance is demonstrated by the inspiring work students go on to do in their local communities."

STV News travelled to Auschwitz with the First Minister and will have more on this story throughout Wednesday.

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