On October 12 and 14, Ms. Izquierdo and Mr. Davis’s students learned history in a new way by taking two holocaust-related field trips.
A group of students went to the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh, Wednesday October 12. These students heard a local Holocaust survivor, Morris Glass, tell his story.
Davis said, “I want my students to feel and see these are real people, that they’re more than photographs.They’re tangible, living, breathing people.”
Izquierdo added that Holocaust survivors are growing older, and the opportunity to hear them speak is fading.
Hearing a direct account of the Holocaust not only deepened students’ understanding of the event, “I think it personalizes the things that we talk about in Holocaust and Genocide,” said Davis.
On Friday, October 14, the students visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of American History in Washington DC.
“[ The Holocaust Museum ] is just striking,” said Izquierdo. “You can talk about it [ the Holocaust ] all day, you can look at a ton of pictures, but it is by far the number one source of understanding.”
The Holocaust museum contains original documents, photos and diagrams. Specifically, the museum has an exhibit displaying thousands of shoes that formally belonged to the people in a concentration camp.
Mr. Davis explains that at the museum, “They can smell the rubber shoes that were left behind. They can see them, they can touch the railway car as they walk through it.” He said, “This experiential form of education, [does not] have a value that can be placed on it. It is simply priceless.”
For Kristen Nelson, the trip to DC opened her eyes to the extreme discrimination of Jews during the Holocaust. Hearing personal accounts of the Holocaust on a movie screen moved Nelson, “You learn how like in the really sad times, when one of them was gonna die, how close the families were.”
The trip also offered a new perspective for Nelson. ”“I always knew it was something serious and it was sad, but [ the field trip ] educated me more about this discrimination, how far it can go, and how something like that shouldn’t happen again.”