Students Experience the Grim Reality of the Holocaust
On Wednesday the 11th of November, the two General and ATAR Modern History classes went on an excursion to the Holocaust Institute of WA in Yokine. In correlation with the topic of Nazi Germany (and the politics involved in Hitler’s reign) that the students had already been learning in class, the Holocaust Institute further explored these topics on a personal and emotional level.
Upon arrival, the students were asked to listen to a presentation of the events they had studied and to participate where required. In the midst of the presentation and discussion, the students were urged to engage in two specific activities. The introductory activity involved particular human rights that the Jews were denied of. Pieces of paper listing these human rights were put up around the room, and the students had to stand in front of the one that was most important to them and explain why they chose it.
The subsequent activity consisted of being assigned a family name and then finding the matching suitcase. In these groups of approximately 3 to 5 people, students were given the names, ages and professions of each member of the family. They were asked to write down ten items that the family would bring if they only had 10 minutes to gather their belongings. Other minor activities involved further exploring the museum and the historical photographs, clothes and books (like the original Mein Kampf written by Hitler and children’s literature that was essentially a form of propaganda).
The students were also privileged in listening to a Holocaust survivor, who explained her experience and the way in which she had survived. As a whole, this experience was very valuable to the students and evoked an emotional response from the collective group. It was essentially an eye-opener to the fact that these events did affect a vast majority of people and that it will continue to live with them forever.
Article written by Cara Roberto Year 11 General Modern History student.