By Lilye Adkins 42Fifty Staff Writer
Holocaust survivor Magda Brown came to Oswego High School for the seventh year in a row to share about her experience during the Holocaust with students from World History and German classes. Along with discussing what it was like to live in Auschwitz-Birkenau and starting her life after the Holocaust, Ms. Brown answered questions that some of the students had concerning her story.
Freshman Emily Behland says that it was “Really inspiring to hear about someone who survived it and actually get to see her face rather than just reading it from a textbook…”
Ms. Brown shared lots of facts about her life and the lives of her loved ones, such as her six person house that was filled with 40 people after her neighborhood became a local ghetto.
Even with all the facts she shared, Ms. Brown had one main point she stressed: “You all must keep the freedom going, and do not hate. Hatred is where genocide begins. It’s a methodical, planned out process, so watch what you hate. I preach, not hate. How could I tell you kids not to hate if I hate others myself?”
After discussing with many of the students their thoughts on the whole event, it seems that Ms. Brown’s story touched many of them. The teens had nothing but positive and enthusiastic feedback concerning her speech. Not only has she inspired dozens of students to keep fighting no matter what, but she also earned the respect of many of these students who had never had an opportunity like this to connect with someone who went through a tragedy as horrifying as the Holocaust.
“I think should do more activities like this, but maybe open them up to all grade levels rather than just freshmen or select classes. It’s beneficial to the students as well as the staff…things like these are rare opportunities that make school exciting,” freshman Rose Kalinowski said in regards to whether or not the school should have more activities like this.
For more information on Magda Brown’s story, visit magdabrown.com.
Lilye Adkins covers Oswego High School news and produces the video series “Lilye’s Lighthearted Moments” and “The Optimist and the Pessimist”. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact the publication directly at email@example.com