There are no words to fully explain what survivors of the Holocaust went through both emotionally and physically, but one Brunswick County high school senior wanted her peers to understand the horrors and how lives were forever changed by Hitler’s regime.
For 89-year-old Bronia Merlin, the passage of time does little to erase the memories of one of the darkest times in world history, the Holocaust.
“This is a nightmare for me, it’s over 60 years and I still, and I still dream in the night they still want to catch me again. And I want to run,” Bronia told students at West Brunswick High School.
Merlin and Alford Schnog are both Holocaust survivors who shared their experiences with students at West Brunswick High School. The stories they’re telling are much more personal than what you’ll find in a textbook.
Students at West Brunswick got this unique opportunity because of the efforts of a fellow student who decided to do her senior project on the Holocaust had on its survivors.
“When I was four-years-old my parents took me to a Nazi concentration camp in Germany called Dahchow. I was really young, don’t remember much but what I do remember, things kind of haunted me,” Alex Heath explained.
And that’s why the 18-year-old West Brunswick senior brought the Holocaust survivors to her school, hoping their stories will resonate with her classmates.
“I hope they can take this experience and realize we are the last generation that’s going to be able to hear what happened at the holocaust from people who were actually there,” she said.
“It’s a phenomenal difference between haring a real person, hearing the real stories, watching somebody who lived through Auschwitz, looking at the tattoo and thinking about what her life must’ve been like at about her age,” said Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman of the Temple of Israel.
There’s another part of Heath’s senior project. She’s also asking her classmates to make butterflies. They will be sent to the Holocaust museum in Houston. The museum is trying to collect one-and-a-half million butterflies, each one representing a child who died during the Holocaust.