8th Grade Holocaust Studies

“You are my witness”. These words are engraved into the wall at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In early December, as our 8th graders walked through the permanent exhibit at the museum, they expressed the feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the images, the voices, the names, the stories. Despite class readings, discussions, listening to speakers and viweing films, nothing could prepare them for the experience of the actual visit to this museum. The historical reality is presented and the responses speak to this most powerful message. Each of us needs to make “this pilgrimage” into the darkest chapter of our people’s history. Even as the heaviness weighs on them, the young people are slightly uplifted by the reminders that there were a few glimmers of hope, a few good individuals among the masses of evildoers-the righteous gentiles, the partisans and the resistance. The eternal flame burns and the students light a candle of remembrance. They sit silently and take out their journals where they capture images, words and reflect upont their thoughts and feelings. We hope and pray that our people and all the world should join in peace.

Our 8th grade students also had the opportunity, along with 8th graders from the St. Marks School, to hear from Mrs. Halina Silber, survivor of Schindler’s List, following Mrs. Silber’s riveting talk about how Oskar Schindler saved her.