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ENGLAND STARS AT SCENES OF WAR HORRORS; Players touched by Holocaust stories.

Byline: GEMMA JALEEL

MERSEYSIDE'S footballing stars had a humbling experience when they visited the scenes of some of the Holocaust's worst atrocities.

The England squad - including Liverpool FC's Steven Gerrard, Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Martin Kelly and Everton FC's Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka, plus Croxteth-born Wayne Rooney - were taken to tour either Auschwitz or Oskar Schindler's factory in Krakow.

The team had flown out to their base in Hutnik, Poland, ahead of their first European Championship match against France in Ukraine on Monday.

After a light training session the squad split into two groups.

One led by Rooney, manager Roy Hodgson and Football Association chairman David Bernstein, headed to former Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

The other, headed by captain Gerrard, coach Gary Neville and FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, visited the Schindler factory museum.

They made the 40-mile trip west to the town of Oswiecim and then on to the nearby village of Brzezinka.

An estimated one million Jews, including a minimum of 232,000 children, lost their lives at Auschwitz during World War Two.

online Log on to echo.co.uk news, sport Schindler was a German who saved hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust by employing them at his enamelware and munitions factory.

England defender and former Everton player Joleon Lescott was one of 14 players to visit the plant.

He said: "Days like today you tend to look back on as much as the tournament itself in years to come, the things you have done, the people you have met.

"I am sure, in years to come, the tournament will be a highlight but so will visiting places like this.

"It is fresh in my mind at the moment so it might take a while for it to sink in.

www.liverpool. for the latest and more "I will go back to the hotel and think about what has been said to us by the guide.

"Most youngsters today have a glorified image of a ghetto but the ghettos we have learned about today are not like that. I did not have a full understanding of what the word means."

CAPTION(S):

RESPECT: England skipper Steven Gerrard with John Terry during a visit by an England Football Association delegation to the Schindler factory in Oswiecim and, right, Joe Hart,Wayne Rooney, Leighton Baines, Andy Carroll and TheoWalcott at the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and former concentration camps
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Jun 9, 2012
Words:405
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