8th Grade Park Forest Middle School Teacher: Mr. Cunningham
Why I remember the Holocaust
Imagine being 13 years old, living in a small apartment with many people, being silent all the time and having to worry about every sound you hear. This what Anne Frank, like many other people hiding had to live through during the Holocaust. Many people went into hiding when they heard they could be rounded up by the Nazis. Anne Frank lived in a small annex upstairs in a business warehouse. From the moment workers were in the warehouse downstairs, the entire group of people had to be silent. If they were to make a sound, they would be discovered and sent to concentration camps.
Why remember this? The Jews were not a bad people and they didn’t do anything wrong. The Holocaust could have happened anywhere. By remembering the Holocaust, we can prevent people like the Nazis and Hitler from coming into power. Millions of people died during the Holocaust, and if they didn’t, they were torn away from families. Whole families were split up and taken to separate concentration camps where they were either killed right away or forced to do hard labor. Hopefully by learning about the Holocaust something like it will never happen again.
While there were many people who persecuted the Jews, there were some people who stood up for them. In the story of Anne Frank, Miep Giess helped the Franks by bringing them food and news about the war going on outside. Because she was not Jewish, she could have been in big trouble if the Nazis found out about her. She could be killed. She risked her life to help them to stay alive. Miep taught a great lesson to people everywhere by standing up against what she knew was wrong and risking her life for these people. By remembering her, people can learn to do what is right.
The Jews suffered through many hardships, from living in ghettos or in hiding, to being sent to concentration or death camps. The people living in the ghetto had to stay inside a confined area of a city. They couldn’t leave or they would be punished, and even killed. They usually stayed in the ghetto until It was liquidated and then were sent to concentration or death camps. Once at concentration camps, the prisoners would have to work long hours, and they would barely get any food. Disease spread quickly through the camps, so even if they weren’t at a death camp, many people died anyway. Even knowing they would have to work really hard, many people were just thankful that they weren’t sent directly to death camps. People in death camps were usually killed right away. The most famous of these camps was probably Auschwitz-Birkenau, a death camp used for killing millions of innocent people that did nothing wrong. Auschwitz was located in Poland and began to operate in 1942.
When the war finally came to an end, many camps were liberated. This meant that the prisoners were rescued by American and Russian troops. When American and Russian soldiers came over, they were shocked at what they saw. They couldn’t believe that something this terrible could happen. General Eisenhower insisted on documenting and taking pictures of the camps so people in the future would be aware of what happened. He also made people who lived near the camps come and look at what had happened so close to them.
Overall, people should remember the I Holocaust so it won’t happen again. Since the Holocaust could have happened anywhere, people need to be careful and think before they would ever do something that horrible. If we remember all of the people who were a part of the holocaust, we can prevent history from repeating itself.