Students in the sixth-grade interdisciplinary program at Bala Cynwyd Middle School recently had the unique opportunity to hear from Holocaust survivor Michael Herskovitz about his experiences as a boy in Czechoslovakia and his harrowing tale of survival and hope.
In order to have some insight in to the Nazi’s treatment of Jewish people at the time of Holocaust prior to the presentation, students watched One Day in Auschwitz – a powerful documentary that follows concentration camp survivor Kitty Hart-Moxon during her return to Auschwitz 70 years after her liberation. Students also spent time exploring the philosophies and religions of ancient cultures, along with social norms, and the purpose of government and military, in order to provide more relevance to students' understanding of cultures and events in history.
During his visit, Herskovitz explained to students how when he was just 13 years old, his family was taken from their small village before being separated from one another on their way to concentration camps. Herskovitz shared some of the horrors of his experience with students, while keeping in mind a sensitivity to their age, as he told of having only one meager meal per day, working long and arduous hours in the camps, trudging miles through mud, dealing with the loss of family members and more. After discussing liberation day and his incredible life following the Holocaust, Herskovitz candidly answered questions from the captivated audience of students.
Now a retired businessman and entrepreneur, Herskovitz and his wife, Tonya, have dedicated their lives to Holocaust Education. They are the founders of the Michael Herskovitz Education Foundation and sit on the boards of Holocaust Awareness Museum and the Jewish Museum in Washington D.C.
Every day, Herskovitz continues his tireless efforts of educating people about the history of the Holocaust. He speaks at organizational events, middle and high schools, universities, synagogues and churches – telling his story to all who will listen as part of his mission to make sure that the atrocities of the past will never happen again. To learn more about Herskovitz’s life story, click here.
To view a slideshow of images from throughout the presentation, click on the image in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.