Johanna Ginsberg’s article meaningfully conveyed the response of the 1,600 students and teachers from Catholic and public schools who came to the College of Saint Elizabeth for our Yom Hashoa/National Days of Remembrance program (“College Holocaust program focuses on hidden children,” April 28).
The students’ questions and comments after seeing the NJN documentary Hidden Child about Maud Dahme, who survived the Holocaust as a hidden child in the Netherlands, demonstrated that her story had a great impact on them. The teachers had prepared students for this program, using a study guide we had provided, and the students knew that of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust, one and a half million were children.
We have received so many letters from the students, forwarded to us by their teachers, that show how much hearing Maud’s story taught them about the Holocaust and about the dangers of prejudice, intolerance, and anti-Semitism. Woven through so many of the letters were students’ sense that now that they had learned about the Holocaust and heard Maud’s testimony, they felt they were “witnesses” and wanted to share what they had learned with others.
Thank you to the New Jersey Jewish News for letting the community know that teachers and students in Catholic and public schools are committed to learning about the Holocaust and to using what they learn so they won’t be bystanders. The College of Saint Elizabeth is determined to continue to offer such programs to ensure that current and future generations will know about what took place during the Holocaust and be inspired to take the actions needed to ensure that all people are valued and respected.
Professor of Holocaust Studies
Co-director, CSE Holocaust Education Resource Center
College Of Saint Elizabeth