TWO Largs Academy pupils have shared their experiences after a harrowing visit to a Nazi concentration camp in Poland.

Madison Cozens, 16 and Rachel Skelton, 17 have vowed to share what they learned from their life-changing trip to ensure the horrors of Auschwitz are never forgotten.

The pupils, who have a keen interest in history, made the trip to Poland to witness the atrocities of the Auschwitz-Birkenau operation, set up by the Germans in 1940.

The teens visited the concentration camps as well as the neighbouring Oświęcim, which was home to around 8,000 Jewish residents prior to World War 2, and say it was a valuable experience they will never forget.

Madison said: "I cannot even comprehend that 11 million lives were lost in the concentration camps.

"We visited Auschwitz 1, which was run as a death camp in 1941, and was where most prisoners were held on their arrival.

"We were told us that this was also the location of the first gassing at Auschwitz.

"I was deeply affected when we went to the museum and were shown rooms full of hair, shoes, suitcases and prosthetics. I couldn't believe when I saw the strands of hair from people who lost their lives there were not yet matted or dying.

"We were also brought inside the gas chamber, something I didn’t think would happen, and we stood where too many innocent souls would have been minutes before they died. It was harrowing.

"At the very end of our tour through Auschwitz-Birkenau we took part in a memorial service with a prayer and speech.

"The rabbi who did it spoke of the importance of our visit and encouraged us to share our experience with others. He reminded us that just because a mass genocide of this scale hasn’t happened since then, doesn’t mean hate on this level doesn’t still exist.

"I fear that if we forget the Holocaust and those that died, we are forgetting the depths to which humanity can sink.

"I think the most important thing to take away is to not judge those considered different or unusual from yourself. We are all human and need to be more tolerant."