Reliving the Holocaust

DC Trip

Our nation has a strong history, all over the 50 states. Washington D.C. has a very strong history and students got to experience it on a recent trip. Students who take United States History, Current Issues, or AP Human Geography went to our Nation’s Capitol, Washington D.C., on January 29 to go to the holocaust museum.

According the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website, the museum is the United States’ official memorial to the Holocaust, which was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was Hitler’s final solution. The museum is dedicated to helping leaders and everyday citizens, to prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.

“I felt really upset about it, and I know we have to prevent it from happening again,” said Kostic. You can try to prevent genocide, as much as possible but it’s like war, we can pull out of a conflict, but it still happens in other places. You can slow it down. But unlike war, this can end. It is bullying, and bullying can be stopped.

Latrobe Senior High School students were elected to go to the museum for various reasons. Some might have known about the Holocaust but wanted to know more.

In order to go on the trip, the students had to participate in two meetings, once before and after the trip. They got a better insight on what to expect and went in depth on the Holocaust. They were taught how the Holocaust is intertwined with bullying at an entirely higher level.

Arriving to the museum, most understood it would be a sad atmosphere. “Going into the trip I figured it would be a typical museum,” said senior, Marcus Smail, “but I didn’t expect it to be so interactive and graphic. It was something I wouldn’t get to see in a classroom.”

The museum itself has artifacts, archival documents, photographs, survivors, archival footage, library items, and oral history testimonies. Many of these primary sources stuck out to students such as senior Emma Kate Womack.

She said  there was a room filled with shoes of prisoners. With the amount of shoes, it showed the massive number of people affected.

Sophomore Jessie Kostic said they got to meet a holocaust survivor, who was at a concentration camp. “The most memorable thing for me was just how graphic some of the pictures and videos were,” said Kostic.

Leaving the museum students had many emotions. “I felt very solemn because the same thing is going on today in other parts of the world, like Uganda and Rwanda.” said Womack.

The students gained insight into what really what went on during the Holocaust, after the trip and were definitely moved by the visit. “My emotions were all over the place really. A mixture of grim and sadness for those who lost their lives but furious to the people who caused it and the people who just watched it happen. It will be a day I never forget.” said Smail.

Womack said she will never forget this experience. “Education is key in preventing this type of event from occurring today,” More visits need to happen in order for students to never forget and prevent such an atrocity from ever occurring again.