On Monday, Grade 11 and 12 students were given a presentation during their first two blocks on the Holocaust. The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre along with the Delta School District made this possible. For the first time, it was also streamed online and many other schools watched, including a high school in Ontario. First, with Dr. Jay Eidelman, the students learned about the Holocaust and how it came to be. He discussed how 6 million people died in total, which was about 78% of the Jewish population in Europe. There were also disabled, homosexuals, political opponents and Gypsies that were targeted. They then watched a short film on the genocide and how the Jews and other prisoners were treated. After a short break, Alex Buckman, a child Holocaust survivor, came and spoke about his experience. He revealed intimate details on how his life was affected and how he managed to stay in hiding until he left for Canada. He told his story on how, at age four, his parents hired a lady to travel with him to an orphanage. Horrifically, this lady also denounced his parents to the Germans, who were sent to Auschwitz and murdered. Following, he told the audience how his father's sister worked at a factory and wrote recipe upon recipe until she had completed a book. This book was recovered and some students later in the week had baked one of her cakes. He also revealed to the audience how 93% of all the Jewish children at the time died during the Holocaust. Him belonging to the 7% astonished everyone. He concluded his story by explaining how he left Belgium for Montreal in 1951. Questions were asked from both the audience and the online viewers afterwards. All in all, it was a very emotional, but enlightening presentation.
Photos taken by Kathinka Gundermann
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