Our Stories

Sixth Graders Meet Holocaust Survivors at Yom HaShoah Commemoration

May 10, 2016 by Gabriel B (’16) (Students) Johanna L (’16) (Students)

Last Thursday, JPDS-NC Sixth Graders attended the Yom HaShoah Commemoration at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C. For many, meeting with a Holocaust survivor is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are extremely thankful to have been given that opportunity.

We had the privilege of hearing from two inspiring Holocaust survivors, Marione Ingram and Rubin Sztajer. Rubin was in three concentration camps including Bergen-Belsen. He cried while he described the day he was taken away from his mother and sisters in the ghetto to go to the camps. He never saw his parents again. Marione told about being the child of a non-Jewish father who worked for the resistance, and a Jewish mother who, at one point, tried to commit suicide (she thought it would keep her children safer for them not to have a living Jewish parent). Marione actually saved her mother’s life and later they were all deported to Terezin for the rest of the war.

After speaking about their experiences during the Holocaust, Marione and Rubin talked about their lives. Marione joined the Civil rights movement in the United States because she saw that blacks were treated badly the way she was treated in Germany. It was so, so moving to hear about all the good that they put into the world, even after they endured such horrors and hardships.

And now we hold the story second hand. We remember the Holocaust directly from the words of those who survived. It is now our responsibility to tell the story to the next generation. It is now our responsibility to spread the hope of those who survived. To live by love and not hate. To fill the emptiness of evil with the wholeness of hope and love. So thank you, Marione and Rubin, for continuing to open the hearts and minds of the future.