The memory of the Holocaust serves as a warning against the repetition of crimes against humanity.
Just before the Winter break, CDS 8th and 11th grade Language and Literature students were virtually visited by Dr. Luke Berryman from The Ninth Candle. The Ninth Candle is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, Illinois whose mission is to end antisemitism by sharing knowledge. They fulfill this mission through professional development programs for teachers, educational programs for students, and diversity and inclusion workshops for businesses. The programs for teachers and students will always be free of charge.
Dr. Luke Berryman spoke to the students on why Berek Lajcher, Ala Gertner, and Alexander Pechersky’s stories matter. In all three cases, these individuals rebelled against the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. He discussed how these individuals’ stories are not taught in the classroom when it comes to Holocaust education and how problematic it can be to omit these heroes from history. Dr. Berryman ended his presentation by speaking on the importance of Holocaust education and the responsibility of future generations to speak out against antisemitism and hate speech.
Below are some student reflections from Dr. Berryman's presentation.
"Dr. Berryman's presentation was very eye-opening and enlightening. I learned a lot about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust and how some people were brave and tried to stand up in times of great terror, pain, and suffering. I also realized how the Holocaust's impact cannot be determined because its repercussions are still being felt today. One thing that really stuck with me is that the Jewish people were seen as "weak lambs" but that is not true, and justice from the Holocaust is difficult to answer/determine because the Holocaust was very terrible, and complex.” - Samantha
"In the presentation, we go over a link of Jewish rebellions in different camps. Brave rebels would do whatever they can to support this. From gathering gunpowder to luring in officers. These acts would lead to jews escaping. Unfortunately, not all would survive the end of the war. " - Luke
"I first learned about the rebellions in some of the camps including Auschwitz. I also never knew that most of the Nazi soldiers were never even punished. This makes me feel that they were a disgrace for doing bad and still had a decent life. - Jai
"During this presentation, I learned that there were many brave Jewish people who tried to fight the Holocaust. Another thing I learned is that pop culture often misinterprets history, which includes the Holocaust. I also learned that there are still pictures and evidence of the Holocaust that is still being unearthed today.” - Gibson
"I really enjoyed this presentation. It was very entertaining and taught me a lot. Dr. Berryman spoke about rebel fighters and people whom we've never heard about before yet they made such a difference. He told us about how these three people played different roles in small yet significant rebellions that affected the outcome of the Holocaust. " - Francesca
"What Dr. Berryman talked about was interesting. We learned the main parts of the nazi's concentration camps. That being the gas chambers, where they were, and the crematorium. He also talked about Auschwitz, Birkenau, and some others. He talked about the pictures of them, the ways that they were able to get away with this for so long. He also talked about how some of them were captured many years later and still executed.” - Steven
Thank you to Mr. Sandoval, 8th grade Language and Literature teacher for facilitating this virtual visit and to Dr. Berryman and The Ninth Candle for creating the educational programming.