Holocaust survivors share stories with seniors
Sitting in front of seniors in the library, Holocaust survivor Rachel Bodner holds back tears as she recalls escaping Belgium and hiding in a French convent.
On Tuesday March 17, 13 survivors from the Holocaust came to speak to seniors. These events are a longstanding tradition as organized by Senior Project Coordinator Louise Gezcy.
“Long before I was here, there were Holocaust programs at John Carroll,” Geczy said. Students went to the Holocaust Museum as early as 1993.
“I think it was very informational and I learned a lot from it. The people that spoke were very friendly and had a lot to share,” senior Chase Hefner said.
Russian teacher Ed Miller also used to bring in solider Sol Goldstein, who liberated a concentration camp, to speak to his Russian class. Goldstein spoke to the entire senior class this year as he has done in years prior.
“I thought it was amazing when [Bertha Schwarz] talked about her escape from France. It was interesting how quickly she had to grow up,” senior Christopher Bruneau said.
“I love coming to John Carroll. The people are just so respectful and kind,” survivor Rueben Sztajer said.
According to Geczy, JC and Perry Hall High School are the only other schools that have a program geared towards the Holocaust that involve survivors visiting, a trip to the museum, and a place in their curriculum.
“I always try to get as many survivors to come as I can,” Geczy said.
“I thought the big assembly we had at the end of the day was really fantastic. [Goldstein’s] perspective and his openness about what he went through really got to me,” senior Kelsey Lake said.
Additional reporting by Jenny Hottle.
Meg Kirchner is a reporter for “The Patriot” and jcpatriot.com.