Holocaust program’s future relies on creativity


Photo courtesy Patriot Archives

Morgan Seiler, class of ‘10, listens to Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz during the 2010 Holocaust Remembrance Day. Bretholz is one of over a dozen survivors that comes to JC on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Emily Clarke, Print Chief

The only sound in the room is the quiet speech of a Holocaust survivor. The seniors are virtually silent besides a few sniffles and small gasps of disbelief. Unfortunately, future seniors won’t have these real-life opportunities much longer.

As the Holocaust survivors age, JC should come up with plans that would give future seniors an experience on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Every year, seniors are told the survivors won’t be around to speak in a few years. While we haven’t yet reached that point, it is inevitable. JC should be, and in some ways already is, taking measures to keep this senior tradition alive when there are no survivors left to speak.

JC is already adding activities to the Holocaust curriculum. This year, seniors were required to watch “See You Soon Again,” a film that follows the lives of two survivors. JC should make this an annual event. “See You Soon Again” shows the effects the Holocaust has on survivors’ descendents.

An obvious way to continue the tradition is to video-tape the speakers when they speak to current JC students. If the survivors are videotaped today, then the films can be shown in replacement of the actual survivors. While it won’t be the same as hearing the speakers in person, it’s still a viable option.

Another source of Holocaust education for future seniors could be asking children of survivors to speak with students. These relatives have valuable insight that could be passed along to continue the memory of the Holocaust.

No activity can substitute the experience of talking to real Holocaust survivors. However, JC must continue to find alternatives so that future seniors will not forget the tragedy.

Emily Clarke is the Print Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.