April 11, 2014 at 6:29 AM
MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn High School honored Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 9 by holding an assembly in which they invited Holocaust survivors to share their stories. The speakers included Erwin Ganz, Marsha Kruezman, Norbert Bikales and Hedy Brasch.
Although it was difficult to talk about their past, all of the speakers similarly remarked that it is important for younger generations to understand.
As Marsha Kruezman eloquently remarked, "You children, are witnesses to a survivor. I have dedicated my life to talking to you children. I am not looking for your sympathy. Just that you understand what we went through".
Marsha Kreuzman was born in and raised in Poland. She endured five concentration camps, ghettos, death marches, and the death of her family. Marsha weighed just 67 pounds when she was liberated.
Erwin Ganz had a different experience than Martha, yet similarly endured loss of family and essentially his childhood. Mr. Ganz grew up in Germany. He described his childhood in a Nazi-occupied city. Specifically, he shared his experience on Kristallnacht, "The Night of Broken Glass" in 1938.
Born in Germany as well, Norbert Bikales shared his story as a Jewish teenager during the Holocaust. His experience of the Holocaust took place in Germany and France where most of his family were murdered. He has devoted his time as an active member for a survivors from France group.
Hedi Brasch was born in Hungary. As a child she starred in commercials and TV ads. But from the German Nazi invasion her father and mother were taken to concentration camps leaving Hedi and her sister alone. Hedi and her sister were then transported to a ghetto. They were liberated in 1945.
Various remarks from students concluded that the assembly was very impactful. The stories the survivors shared are not only stories of death and devastation but, stories of bravery and courage that many can relate to. During both assemblies (morning and afternoon) teachers commented on the silence and focus of the students during the speeches.
The Holocaust assembly at the Millburn High School has proven to be a success once again. Students were able to take away a personal view on the Holocaust rather than an abstract view from pages in a textbook and expressed gratitude to all those who shared their stories.