Remembering the Holocaust at Pierce
By Hannah Orden
Milton Public Schools
Each year for the past 10 years Holocaust survivor Rena Finder has come to Pierce Middle School in Milton, Massachusetts, USA, to speak to the eighth grade class about her experiences during World War II. Milton resident Janice O'Neill arranged the first speaking engagement when her daughters were students at Pierce. Though she no longer has children in the school, Ms. O'Neill continues to believe that it is important for young people to hear Ms. Finder's story.
Students prepare for Ms. Finder's visit by seeing the film "Schindler's List" and reading "Night" by Elie Wiesel. Ms. Finder is always impressed by the respectful and well-prepared audience at Pierce.
After Ms. Finder's presentation, many of the students seemed eager to ask questions. The questions were serious and thoughtful: "Did you ever think about revenge?" "Can you tell us about resistance in the camps?" "Did anyone try to escape?"
When asked whether she ever doubted the existence of God, Ms. Finder replied, "The day I stood and watched them take the children away, I expected that God would do something to help the children. After that, I thought there was no God. It took quite a few years after I came to the United States till I realized that God was there all the time with the victims. It was human beings who did this."