The following are excerpts from students at Darrington High School in Mr. Eckerson’s ninth grade English class. The students were asked to respond to the following questions:
- Do people who have heard survivors speak have a responsibility in the telling of history?
- How does hearing a survivor speak change what they read and studied in a textbook?
“I think that if we do keep the history, keep telling people what happened, I think that we can prevent it from happening again.”
“It changes my perspective because it is hard to feel sympathy towards text and pictures but when a real person is speaking and trying to connect telling you about your family and their hardships it is easier to feel emotion and sympathy towards them.”
“We do have a responsibility to tell her story because of the strength and power that she has shown. She is a strong woman and her story needs to be told. It is our job to make sure her journey of courage and heartfelt adventure is told to the world.”
“Noemi Ban instilled courage and hope for future prejudice victims and made an impact on our lives that we will keep with us forever.”
“I feel that telling people would be a sign of respect to share the emotions with people who have no had the experience to listen to someone that has lived through the Holocaust.”
“Knowing that survivors are getting in their old age, and it makes me wonder if future generations are going to just believe stories in a book, or even learn or be interested in this, so this makes me want to keep the history alive.”
“It was amazing to see such a wonderful person could live through something of that extent and still smile and be happy. I think that we all took something from her that night.”
“While reading the textbook it felt as if this happened a long time back. But knowing there are still living survivors helped me understand.”
“I feel that I need to step up and take my stand in sharing what I know about the Holocaust. I feel it is a responsibility to tell the truth to people who are blind to the history of this world.”
*Thank you Darrington High School students for your letters!*