HARROWING details of one of the most notorious Nazi death camps of World War 2 were revealed to a group of South Lakes students during a three-day trip to Poland.

In what was described as "a highly emotional" visit, 18 teenagers from Queen Katherine School, Kendal, learned about the horrors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination complex near Krakow.

It was there that the German SS systematically killed at least 960,000 Jews as well as tens of thousands of other concentration camp prisoners.

QKS student Khan Durnall said: “Visiting such an infamous site you really felt a deep sadness for what humanity is capable of doing to one another. However, I felt a great sense of hope within the Jewish community of Krakow, with more and more people discovering their Jewish heritage a culture is being re-discovered.”

Robert Nelson said: “There is no place so sickening, compelling yet detestable as Auschwitz.”

Holly Quinn described the experience as “surreal". "That is the first word that comes to mind," she said. "It is so difficult to comprehend the fact that such a horrific event happened, not too long ago. I think everyone should experience such devastation once in their life to ensure the event never repeats.”

Jonah Aldridge was convinced everyone should visit Auschwitz-Birkenau to learn about the horrors.

“You always think that you understand the extent of the horrifying and despicable acts that took place not too long ago, but until you witness first-hand the scale of the organisation you can only then comprehend the worst traits of humanity. I think it’s a necessity for everyone.

A school spokesperson said: "The students were exceptional ambassadors for the school, conducting themselves with great dignity and strength in the face of such brutality and sadness."