During World War II, while under the command of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands,masses of Jews were captured and taken to concentration camps. There the Jews were tortured and murdered. Escaping from these camps was impossible.
Very few of the Jews placed into these camps made it out alive. However, the students of class 7/8 and Dr. Klaus Scharioth, had the chance ot meet two Holocaust survivors on Wednesday, January 19, 2010. The students were able to ask questions and expand their knowledge of this dark and troubling time in history, as they shared their sad stories with members of the GISB community.
Israel Arbeiter and Edgar Krasser, both Holocaust survivors and men in their 80s, gave their own historical account of their experiences during this time. Their stories were intriguing, thrilling and suspenseful. Although these three adjectives sound positive, the darkness and inhumanity of these stories remained in the forefront. The fact was often brought up, that nobody should ever have to understand and experience the events that happened during those dark times. This was clear, however, to all of us. I am relieved that I cannot understand. Nobody ever really wants to live and experience real fear. After Israel Arbeiter and Edgar Krasser shared their own version of history with us, the students from class 7/8 had the chance to ask questions. Even though this topic is still quite difficult for both of the men to discuss, each of them were surprisingly open in their answers to our questions. This made quite an impression. The honest and heartfelt answer to
the question about what Holocaust survivors think of Germany today surprised all of us, since we assumed that Survivors only had negative feelings
toward Germany. Yet, both Israel Arbeiter and Edgar Krasser assured us that they only harbor negative feelings for those who have hurt the
Jews during that particular point and time in history. This answer astonished us, because they were able to set all prejudice and stereotypes aside,
even after their own terrible experiences.
The open discussion with Israel Arbeiter and Edgar Krasser was quite interesting, and it caused all of us to think. The opportunity to have a converation
with two Holocaust Survivors is now a rare one, since most of them are now well into their 80s and 90s. Both of them reminded us that
we must carry on the memory of this terrible time in history in oder to prevent such an event from occuring again. As Izzy Arbeiter said, “We
must never let this happen again!“
At the Beginning we were all curious, We didn’t know of the Darkness ahead, We didn’t think it could make us furious, We just listened to what Izzy said. Everything was deathly still Izzy’s Words pierced the Silence, The story of his iron Will, Deeply touched the Audience. It was a Story of great Sadness, And later on we grieved, From a story with so much badness Every Word we believed.
-Izzy’s Story, Finnegan Lutz, class 7/8