This past Thursday I had the privilege of taking part in a Holocaust workshop. A survivor, currently from Toronto, came to speak to us about his life story as well as another individual spoke about how this topic could be taught in schools. I thought that this was a great opportunity and something I truly appreciated. Hearing first hand how the survivor (Max) was able to survive such a horrific experience was very heavy and saddening. The room was very quite as he spoke with such detail, outlining his experience. As he spoke it made me think back to my grade 12 year where I was able to go on a school trip and walk through a concentration camp in Munich called Dachau. That experience was very eerie and depressing at the same time as we learned about the things that went on there.
The second guest talked about how before long there will not be any Holocaust survivors around. I think that it is still very important to show students films, documentaries and allow them to do research on this so that they have some kind of understanding. At the end of this workshop we were provided with five books which made up the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs as well as a certificate of attendance. I am looking forward to reading through these books as I find this part of history interesting yet saddening. I do not believe these books would be appropriate for elementary students, although I do think they are not too young to learn about the Holocaust.