By Sage Meyer and Delylah Willard
This year 8th grade Language Arts decided to do something for January 27th: Holocaust Remembrance Day. Thanks to Asia on TikTok, Mrs. Waite-Taggart, Mrs. Wersal and Ms. Swanson decided to write letters to Holocaust survivors in New York. We asked some of the language arts students and teachers what their thoughts and feelings were about the Holocaust along with some books they recommend reading if you want more information, or something to do with the Holocaust.
The first question we asked was ‘How do you feel about teaching about the Holocaust?’ “It is really interesting and a nice change of pace. It’s also important to teach about, I mean even I am going to be writing a letter,” Mrs. Wersal says. Mrs. Waite Taggart says, “I see the kids have so much more sympathy throughout this unit. That is why I like to teach the Holocaust.” This is the first year they are writing notes to Holocaust survivors. Mrs. Waite Taggart also said “ This is something very heavy on students so we have to consider this in all of our lessons.”
Many students had similar ideas on how it was and still is still a very sad topic along with it just being a very depressing time in history. “The Holocaust is a very deep and heavy subject but I am very glad that we are getting to talk about it. Having it pushed away and never getting talked about is just creating more generational trauma, it will help us learn from our mistakes,” Ray Reynolds said. Additionally, “I think our teachers are doing a really good job at teaching this subject. They leave a lot of time to process this major event. Learning about the Holocaust is a lot of work and it just goes to show how people have evolved,” Kiana Henderson says.
Andrew Peterson starts off with “I think the Holocaust is very important to talk about. The teachers definitely make sure nothing insensitive comes out of anyone, and if I were president back then I would open up the country to the Jewish people and try to save as many of them as I can without overloading the country. I would work with the Jewish people and try to get as many safe as possible.” In conclusion, the Holocaust is a very deep subject but it should be talked about, and the letters are an amazing idea and should be done more often around the world.