Nick Lowles' blog

An important day for England

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 8 June 2012, 10:54



The England team are currently being put through their paces in an open training session in Krakow. This is the same city where Dutch footballers were racially abused during an open training session.

The decision to base England in Krakow in Poland was a decision by former manager Fabio Capello.

The Football Association has worked hard to make this decision one that is beneficial not just to our footballers, but also to the wider community in this country who will see our pampered footballers exposed to the true horror of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz this afternoon.

The trip is being run in conjunction with the Holocaust Educational Trust, close friends of the Hope Not Hate team. Most of the HNH team have been to Auschwitz on trips organised by HET. Thousands of British school children visit Auschwitz every year to learn about the horrors of the Nazi genocide. It is an educational programme that is also backed up with learning tools and lectures, where possible, by actual survivors.

Yesterday England goalkeeper Joe Hart spoke emotionally about a visit to the England training camp by Zigi Shipper and Ben Helfgott, two Holocaust survivors. The two spoke for forty minutes and says Hart, "you could hear a pin drop".

Visiting Auschwitz will of course not make England play any better. It may give them a better sense of perspective of their lives however. But it will also validate the work of people like HET in a race that is almost against time, to ensure that as many people as possible are exposed to the horrors and the personal testimonies of people who witness and subjected to the most unthinkable of horrors.

It is also right to remember that these horrors, though committed in Poland, were not carried out by the Poles. They were carried out by Nazis. But the lessons of Auschwitz, the result of a barbaric and almost unthinkable hatred, are lessons that everyone should learn. History has an unfortunate habit of repeating itself, as events in the world have since proven.

If Auschwitz can truly open the eyes of some of the richest and most celebrated in British society, then we can hope that our footballers bring this message home with them and share something with an even wider group of people.

 Posted: 8 Jun 2012 | There are 0 comments

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