Friday, January 8, 2010

Pennies in the Fire

When I was in middle school we had a guest speaker come talk to one of our classes...I don't remember which class (guessing it was history or something like that), nor do I remember the teacher or just about any other thing that I learned in middle school.

What I do remember is this speaker, a man who had survived the Holocaust. He was part of the Escape from Sobibor and his story was riveting and powerful.

This is also the time when I read a book I borrowed from my aunt about Joseph Mengele and his horrifying "experiments" on children, especially twins.

Was I too young to read such a book? Probably a bit. But it was these two experiences that have led me to a fascination and passion for this particular period of history - World War II in general, and the Holocaust specifically. I was actually excited when I got to go to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC during high school...and I still have the "passport" I received that represented one person from the time. My person did not make it out alive and neither did any one of the people we had in our 8 person party.

There is a project going on right now at Horn Lake Middle School to teach those children about the Holocuast. Every child needs to understand the horror and the true nightmare that was created for so many millions.

The teacher has come up with, what I think is, a creative idea to convey to the children just how many lives were lost.

It's a school project spearheaded by seventh-grade Spotlight students currently studying World War II -- with a significant focus on the Holocaust. Each penny would stand for one child lost in the Holocaust.

Children can understand something in front of them - something tangible like a penny. It's difficult to comprehend 1.5 Million of anything, but when you see it in person it can become so much more clear.

If you have some extra change, please consider sending it their way. Each generation must learn about the hell created by the Nazis. It's not that it was the first, only, or last genocide (Stalin's and Mao's governments actually each killed more people total). It is the systematic and organized manner in which the evil was perpetrated. And the fact that some people today STILL deny that it happened. And some kids are not even taught about it anymore.

We need to remember...always.

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