Initiated by Alain Sebban, the President and Founder of Vatel Group and organized by the Auschwitz Association, a guided tour of the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps was proposed to Vatel Lyon students at the end of 2015.
As of course the number of places was limited, only about fifteen of them were able to go to Poland to discover what they had studied in their high school history courses.
Understanding your past to better build your future
“As soon as the tour started, we all had a "deja vu" feeling, when we first saw that infamous Arbeit macht frei inscription upon entering. Of course, we were actually seeing in real life what we had already read in our history books or seen in movies.
Joanna Musiatowska, our tour guide, explained each building and its elements, allowing us to plunge into our collective past to try to understand the these things that cannot be understood. With her we talked about fear, denial and the inevitable parallel with today’s wars.
I became aware of 2 things:
- How lucky we were to take this trip and I’d like to warmly thank Mr. Sebban and the Auschwitz - Birkenau Association.
- Our duty to remember and transmit things. As soon as we got back to Vatel, we told other 4th year and Bachelor Vatel students about our trip, so that they also could profit from what we learned about this very moving day.” RB
“The Second World War is one of the darkest moments in French History as well as the history of mankind. Having studied it in history classes, I always wanted to learn more about it. This is why I registered for this school outing right away.
Being able to see with my own eyes something I had only seen at the movies would give me a completely new way of looking at my county’s history, and consequently, my own history too. And this was exactly what happened. I was amazed at how big the camps were and sickened by the strict calculations for the exterminations.
This day ended with a ceremony in honor of all the victims and we lit a candle in their memory. A very moving act, and something I’ll never forget.” RD
Excerpts from testimonials sent in by Rayan Benjaout and Romane Dulud, in their 4th year of the MBA Vatel