The UK government in conjunction with the Holocaust Educational Trust is currently funding visits to Auschwitz by two pupils from each school in the UK. This mirrors the position adopted by David Cameron in regard to war cemeteries when announcing Britain’s Great War Centenary funding earlier this month.
These two BBC reports give you a sense of what the intension of the funding is to be and how the experience will be transmitted throughout the other pupils of each school in the UK. In times of public sector cut-backs, this initiative must be deemed important.
I include these here as in thinking about the Great War one hundred years after the event it is almost impossible to do so without reference to the Second World War and in particular the Holocaust. This must be particularly true in Germany, but elsewhere throughout the (western?) world too.
It would be interesting to see if these two episodes in history (the Great War and the Holocaust) become part of a broader understanding of the twentieth century at the end of the Centenary period and what that understanding might be.