England squad to visit Auschwitz during Euro 2012

 

Members of England's Euro 2012 squad will visit the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz when they travel to Poland ahead of next month's European Championship.

They will go to Auschwitz prior to their opening fixture against France, soon after their June 6 arrival date, and sign the museum's guest book before lighting a candle of remembrance on the train tracks at Birkenau.

Other squad members will make a trip to the factory in Krakow once owned by Oskar Schindler, the German who helped to save over a thousand Jewish people from the death camps, while later this week senior players and staff will speak to Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper and meet fellow survivor and weightlifting champion Ben Helfgott MBE, before departing for their pre-tournament preparations.

The Football Association and Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) have entered into a partnership to produce an educational resource on the Holocaust for all secondary schools and colleges in England and Football Association chairman David Bernstein welcomed the initiative.

"This educational partnership brings together the important work of teaching future generations about the horrors of the Holocaust, using the ability of football to interest and engage young people," he said.

"There are so many lessons to be learnt and understood, and we believe football can play its part in encouraging society to speak out against intolerance in all its forms.

"I am proud that Roy Hodgson and the England team are supporting such an important initiative and I would encourage all English schools to take advantage of the learning materials that will be created."

Karen Pollock MBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, added: "It is a credit to our national team that they have set aside time to pay their respects to those who died during the Holocaust and it's fantastic that they are so committed to building an educational legacy for young people in schools across England."

PA

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