Fifth-Graders Learn About the Holocaust

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Fifth-grade students from Connolly and Landing schools recently visited the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, where they participated in a guided instructional tour of the museum and heard testimony from Felice Katz.

Ms. Katz’s mother, Etunia “Ethel” Bauer Katz, grew up in Buczacz, Poland, which is now part of Ukraine. The German army entered the town in 1941, followed closely by mobile killing squads who murdered Ethel’s twin brother along with other young Jewish men in a forest near the town. The rest of her family escaped immediate destruction by hiding in barns and fields for several years, relying upon their non-Jewish neighbors for food. Ethel’s family members were eventually murdered in their hiding place, and she narrowly escaped and survived the last few months of the war on her own. The Soviet Army liberated her town in 1944, and after the war, Ethel immigrated to the United States, where she raised a family. She has written a memoir of her experiences during the Holocaust, “Our Tomorrows Never Came.”  

The Glen Cove social studies department and the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County have created a civic education program beginning in fifth grade that promotes and empowers our students to become upstanders. The center provided documents to all teachers and building principals that offered a brief overview of the Holocaust along with a glossary of words to help the students prepare for the trip. The teachers did a fantastic job preparing the students with the historical content. Kudos to all the fifth-grade teachers and building principals Ben Roberts and Julie Mullan for preparation and planning.