Time for reflection: England players pay visit to Auschwitz and Schindler's Factory
15:06 GMT, 8 June 2012
England's players took time out from their Euro 2012 preparations today to visit some historic Polish sites.
After a light training session at their Hutnik base, the squad split into two groups – one led by Wayne Rooney that head to the former Nazi concntration Auschwitz and another headed by captain Steven Gerrard that visited the Oskar Schindler Factory museum.
Rooney's group – which featured no players who are expected to start against France in the Group D opener on Monday – made the 40-mile trip west from their Krakow base to the town of Oswiecim, and then on to the nearby village of Brzezinka.
Time for reflection: Gerrard lead a delegation of players to Schindler's Factory in Poland as John Terry, Ashley Young, Scott Parker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck take in their tour of the museum (below)
It was there – at Auschwitz – that
millions of Jews, including a minimum of 232,000 children, lost their
lives during the Second World War.
Schindler was a German who saved
hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust by employing them at his
enamelware and munitions factory.
After being part of the group who
visited the museum, coach Gary Neville tweeted: 'We've just been to
Schindler's museum in Krakow. If you come over here I would recommend
Taking it in: England players listen to information from their museum guide while Sir Trevor Brooking leaves a message of condolence as Gerrard signs a Euro 2012 football (below)
England boss Roy Hodgson is keen for
his players to appreciate the history behind the country their are
staying in during the finals.
The tone was already set thanks to a
talk given by Holocaust survivors Zigi Shipper and Ben Helfgott before
the team headed to Poland. When they had finished, the first hand raised
to volunteer to make the visit to Auschwitz was that of Rooney.
England are the latest country to visit Auschwitz ahead of the finals. Germany were the first, followed by Italy and Holland.
Looking around: Scott Parker studies an exhibition as Cole (below) leads a group being shown other exhibits