Auschwitz & World War II

There are few places on earth where the horrors and hardships of World War II (1939-1945) are learned harder than in Krakow and the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp.

In this sobering yet unforgettably important CAS Trip, we visit Auschwitz and discover the shocking truth of the extermination camp in which over 1 million people were murdered at the command of Hitler’s Third Reich.

But the legacy and lessons of the Holocaust live on in the lives and souls of the survivors. In co-operation with the pioneering Galicia Jewish Museum, students are given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share an afternoon in the company of the incredible human beings who lived through the horrors of Auschwitz.

Throughout the itinerary, we search deep and ask ourselves how and why the atrocities of the holocaust were allowed to happen, also exploring the film and set of Oscar-winning movie Schindler’s List as well as the intricate story of Krakow during the conflict.

Auschwitz & World War II

All our themes and activities are 100% flexible and can be mixed and matched to suit your group.

Day 1

  • Transport terminal pick-up by your dedicated CAS Trips tour guide
  • Hotel drop-off
  • Walking tour: Krakow by night –  A fascinating introduction to the unique history and culture of Poland’s second city, through the UNESCO listed Old Town by night
  • Evening Meal – Traditional Polish cuisine in an authentic local restaurant.
  • Reflections Challenge – An introduction to the CAS Trips Network and Reflections Centre with personal student and teacher logins, online itineraries and amazing group sharing capabilities.

Day 2

  • Your CAS Trips tour guide hotel pick-up
  • Walking tour: Krakow during WWII – We embark on a pulsating guided tour through the streets of Krakow, with particular focus on the catastrophic events of World War II which have shaped the city.
  • Lunch
  • Jewish Krakow – The modern day Krakovian districts of Kazimierz and Podgórze districts are filled with charming tree-lined streets and cafes but they were also once home to the Jewish ghetto. But it is not only tragedy that prevailed here as you will hear of the uplifting and heart-warming stories of courage, community, love and perseverance that will challenge prejudice and stereotype. 
  • Evening Meal 
  • Schindler’s List film screening –  Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List tells the tale of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi party member, who used his pull within the party and his own financial resources to save the lives of over 1000 Jews by recruiting them to work in his factory in Krakow.
    We watch the motion picture, within walking distance of the original setting to gain perspective for the visits to Schindler’s factory and Auschwitz later in the trip.

Day 3 

  • Your CAS Trips guide hotel pick-up
  • Schindler’s Factory – Following on from the previous evening’s screening, we visit Oscar Schindler’s Factory in Krakow – home to a world-class exhibit which documents the facts and personal life of the protagonist, his work and the turbulence of Krakow during World War II.
  • Lunch
  • Eagle Pharmacy Museum – Throughout WWII Tadeusz Pankiewicz provided medicine and care to the sick and elderly of the Jewish Ghetto. We visit the pharmacy which is now a fascinating exhibition  located in Kraków’s former Jewish Ghetto and get an insight into the day-to-day nature of life in the ghetto and the sacrifices people made for the good of others. 
  • Evening Meal

Day 4

  • Your CAS Trips guide hotel pick-up
  • Day Trip: Auschwitz-Birkenau – Auschwitz-Birkenau is the site of the gravest mass murder in the history of humanity. In a private excursion, we visit the two part memorial where 1.1 million men, women and children perished in the holocaust.
  • Lunch
  • Meet Holocaust survivors – In a once in a lifetime experience in co-operation with the Galicia Jewish Museum,  students will have the opportunity to meet with holocaust survivors. In a pre-prepared CAS activity, students will discuss, plan and create a friendly atmosphere for the guests to allow them to feel comfortable enough to tell their deeply emotional stories. The meetings are translated by employees of the museum who are experienced in working with survivors and have a background on the subject, and there will be an opportunity for Q&A‘s from the group.
  • Focus Group – Elderly Care: Lead by patrons of the museum, students get a chance to de-brief about the meeting, brainstorm long-term projects and discuss the importance of elderly care in the community on a local level, exploring care strategies and ways students can help.
  • Evening Meal – Polish cuisine in a spectacular setting for the final evening

Day 5

  • Free time for souvenir shopping 
  • Your CAS Trips tour guide and bus driver hotel pick-up and departure terminal drop-off

*itineraries are illustrative and can be altered to your specific academic needs or time constraints.