UNION, NJ – Some Union High School students recently took a trip to Washington, DC to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The trip was put together by Jaclyn Scotto as a collaboration between her Holocaust and Genocide Literature course and Rafael Rios’ Graphic Novels course.  Scotto holds a Masters in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  Rios’ Graphic Novels course focuses on a variety of social issues stemming from the civil rights movement to the Holocaust, which allow for great collaboration between the two courses.

While at the museum, students were able to speak with two holocaust survivors and observe an interactive video call with a Syrian refugee. The students were able to see how the literature they have been reading and discussing in both classes aligns with real people and real objects.

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The exhibit of the piles of shoes taken from prisoners as they entered the camps had a strong impact on students.  Many of the students broke into tears being so close to something they only days before could only picture in their mind.

“The trip was amazing for students and teachers alike,” said Rios.  “We had an amazing and emotionally charged day.  The students were amazing and truly took all they could out of the trip.  They were also a bit star struck by the sites and their proximity to the White House and national monuments.”