Holocaust survivor to speak in Strathmore
The study of the World War II Holocaust will come alive for students in Strathmore this Thursday, Feb. 21 with a visit from Holocaust survivor Elane Geller.
To help students understand the Holocaust, Geller shares a message of human dignity, compassion, and remembrance for those who gave their lives during World War II.
“You would do well to ask yourself why a sane person would relive this story about such great pain,” she tells audiences of students. “It’s about prevention of racism and bigotry and anti-Semitism.”
She makes her message relevant by connecting it to modern dilemmas, such as gang violence, and ethnic, cultural, and international conflicts.
Ms. Elane Norich Geller was born in a Polish town not too far from the birthplace of the late Pope John Paul II. When rumors started that the Nazis were coming to Poland, her father began to prepare 4-year-old Elane to live with a Christian family until the crisis had passed. Instead, she survived life in a Nazi concentration camp, imprisoned for nearly five years. Her personal story is an inspiration, as well as a solemn cautionary tale about what happens when groups of people are dehumanized and acknowledged stereotypically rather than as individuals.
Geller will speak from 9:10-10:10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Harmony Magnet Academy in Strathmore followed by as second talk from 1:15-1:45 p.m. at Strathmore High School. The state of California requires students to engage in “thinking about why one of the world’s most civilized nations participated in the murder of millions of innocent people mainly because of their religious identity” (p. 88 California State History Social Science Framework).
Tulare County Office of Education proudly sponsors Holocaust survivor visits each year. “The opportunity to hear the story of a Holocaust survivor – first-hand – is a rare one,” says Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. “I appreciate Ms. Geller coming to Tulare County year-after-year to share her experiences with our students.”
Information about the Tulare County Office of Education is available at www.tcoe.org, or by calling the Public Information Office at (559) 733-6606. For more information on “Remembering the Holocaust,” call Joy Soares at (559) 651-0501.