Holocaust Awareness Symposium


After reading Night, the memoir of Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Holocaust, the freshmen at Pine Crest participated in the Holocaust Symposium, a way for them to learn about the horrors that were imposed on Jewish people during World War II. 

Mr. Friedman, a social science teacher, taught students about the causes of the Holocaust; the why and the how, including the increase in the hatred and prejudice against Jews, and the rise of Hitler. Mr. Friedman informed the freshmen on Hitler’s anti-semitic propaganda, and Kristallnacht, also called the Night of Broken Glass, the day the Nazi party  destroyed and burned Jewish businesses.

After learning about the origins of the Holocaust, students heard heart-breaking testimonies from both descendants of Holocaust survivors, and from survivors themselves. Helen, who worked hard to save her sister during a death march, Andres, who ran many miles to survive. Saul Dreier, who continues to work to raise the spirits of other Holocaust survivors through his music during and after the Holocaust, and Kitty-Hart Moxon who survived with her mother through their smarts and love.

The freshman grade is very thankful to have had the opportunity to speak with these survivors and their descendents and to hear their stories so their legacies and experiences can be kept alive. 

Stacey Nowak, the Holocaust educator who showed the Auschwitz Album, said that the pictures that were saved “are not stories of death, but stories of the struggle to live.”

Lastly, the freshmen watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, about a child of a Nazi general who befriended a Jewish child in a concentration camp.

This symposium helped students understand the importance of the fight against antisemitism, so this event will never repeat itself. However, antisemitism continues to persist today. Just in February, Neo-Nazis declared Saturday the 23 to be a day of hate against the Jewish people. Paul Goldstein, who gave testimony to his mother and father, emphasized the lesson of not being a bystander to these crimes. The Holocaust Symposium inspired viewers to feel and understand the need to stand together against antisemitic acts, so such a tragedy will never happen again.