Holocaust Simulations touch real-life experiences

Students in Terri Evans’ Holocaust class each chose an aspect of the infamous Holocaust period to recreate for their peers to experience.

This December Holocaust project was designed to simulate real-life situations that Jewish people in that time might have experienced. Evans wanted her students to get the feeling of being “in a Holocaust prisoners’ shoes.”

One of the project topics was tattooing and shearing. This topic was meant to simulate what it was like to be numbered and isolated as a prisoner. The student who had this topic wrote numbers on students and moved them into a crowded corner.

“The ‘Nazis’ then branded the students with a fake tattoo of a number to allow them to understand what it is like to be branded,” said Avery Brooksbank ’20.

Another one of the projects simulated was the deportation of Jews during the Holocaust and the horrible conditions they went through on the trains out of their country.

“I gave everyone a letter saying they are being deported. Each student received Jewish stars to label them as Jews. They then grabbed their backpacks and crowded into a confined space simulating an isolated train car,” said student Caroline Kennelly ‘19.

She had the students raise their arms to simulate the bad odor on the “train car.” When they got off the “train” they were then searched and investigated.

Kirsten Jorgenson chose the topic of “Life in the Ghettos” to simulate. She had five different stations where students experienced things like holding ice to recreate the harsh weather conditions. At Station 5, students were to smell something horrific to simulate the stench of the ghetto.

“I felt these stations allowed students to face the hard and uncomfortable reality of the Holocaust,” said Kirsten Jorgenson ‘19.

Students were able to empathize with prisoners and come to the realization of how bad the conditions were. It was a time that nobody will ever forget and hopefully knowing the harsh reality of what happened will prevent any event like the Holocaust from ever happening again.

Overall, it was an experience for the students to gain knowledge about the Holocaust time and learn the cruel reality. Being able to recreate a simulation allowed for an interesting, hands-on learning experience.

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© 2019 Bek Ficze 21'