Methodist Youth President visits Auschwitz

Methodist Youth President Hayley Moss is in Poland this week to visit one of the most notorious symbols of Nazi terror.

Hayley is visiting the former extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Wednesday after being chosen to represent the British Youth Council.

She and others selected to make the visit will spend the day learning about the horrific massacre of Jews at the camp.

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 group will learn more about the lives of the victims during a visit to a pre-war Jewish site in the Polish town of Oświęcim.

This will be followed by a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau and a memorial ceremony held next to the destroyed crematoria II.

The ceremony will be 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.”