During the week of Friday, October 9, RHS teacher Ms. Wiater invited students to listen to an inspirational speaker: Holocaust survivor Mark Schonwetter. Mark survived an atrocity, so listening to his experience is one which is not only inspirational but eye-opening to the obstacles which many had to face simply due to their religious beliefs. Mark opened up about how he was discriminated against simply because he was Jewish, explaining some of the experiences he goes through which his daughter also mentions in her book, Together: A Journey for Survival. Students who heard of the conference, such as 10th grader Musarrot state “It was great to learn about such an important moment in history that affects the world today. Acknowledging these stories is the next step in creating a more inclusive world” to show appreciation towards Mark’s lecture.
Mark’s lecture was highly informative as many RHS students learned facts about the Holocaust that they did not know before. These new facts which they learned involve the emotions and living situations which Mark addressed, and they were important to learn about since they would make up for a lack of Holocaust knowledge. Learning about true experiences in-person provides a new perspective and reality of the Holocaust that people can comprehend emotionally, and this will benefit society as a whole since it is always good to be educated about what others and their families may have endured.
Having Mark Schonwetter and his daughter come in to talk about Mark’s experiences, their experience together as a Jewish family, and the book Together: A Journey for Survival helped RHS students learn much more about the Holocaust, a moment in history which is necessary to learn about and grow from. Mark’s words inspired RHS students, and made them leave the campus center with more knowledge.
Graphic: Vivian Yuan