A Day of Reflection on Holocaust at Veterans Museum
By Justyna Tomtas |
Local high school students met at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis Tuesday to learn about painful and tragic events in an effort to ensure that history would not repeat itself.
The day marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of one of the most notorious death camps in Europe, Auschwitz-Birkenau. According to Matthew Elrich, of the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle, 1.1 million people went through the death camp’s gates, never to return again.
“We have to constantly keep in front of us what went on during that time so we as students and adults do everything in our power to not allow that to happen ever again,” Robert Sande, a social studies teacher at W.F. West High School, said.
Elrich gave a presentation on his mother’s life and the effects the dark period of history had on his family. She survived the Holocaust and was among those saved on liberation day.
His mother, Felicia Lewkowicz, died six years ago from cancer, but her story was told vividly, marking the trials and tribulations she experienced during her time in Europe. “It’s important to understand the greater lessons of the Holocaust, why we use a capital ‘H’ for this one,” Elrich told the students.
Lewkowicz was born in Krakow, Poland, in June of 1924 and lived a normal life until the Nazis
came to power and decided Jews, among others, were an inferior race. The ethnic cleansing, which later took place, attempted to rid the world of unwanted ethnic and religious groups.
After leaving the Krakow ghetto, Lewkowicz found work elsewhere until the day she was arrested as a political prisoner and taken to Auschwitz in August of 1944. Continue Reading
Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015