School program focuses on horrors of the Holocaust

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 08:54 AM.

The Germans persecuted the Polish people during World War II, banning their language, burning their churches and destroying their culture, student presenters said.

“There was a lot of senseless killing and a lot of innocent people died,” said student Patrick Gaskins, a presenter who played the role of a man in a concentration camp who was gassed. “They did not deserve it. They were killed in brutal and inhumane ways. We’re just trying to raise awareness about why something like this shouldn’t happen again.”

The program was designed as part of the curriculum for the students.

“The fact that genocide still occurs today shows that, perhaps, all of humanity has not really learned the lesson from the Holocaust and that’s what my students have kind of gone through,” said Siobhan Gastel, an English teacher at Early College EAST. “This has been a six-week learning unit, and so they just want to make sure that they are sharing their knowledge with others so we don’t forget and we don’t allow it to happen again.”

The students were divided into six groups that detailed the rise of the Nazi Party and Hitler, the children of the Holocaust, the saviors, the victims, the concentration camps and the aftermath.

“It’s a very recent and tragic event,” Early College student Amaree Thomas said. “It’s a big deal. It was World War II. It’s something you need to know about because it could happen again. If it happens again, we can be more prepared.”

Ashley Dhillon was part of the group that told of the heroes of the era who managed to save thousands from death, including Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler.

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