I cannot but say that what she wrote about is something I am familiar with. I love writing and from time to time I love reflecting on what is happening around me or what I have learnt. An event, a book or also writing about my teaching experience are the main topics of my posts. Sometimes I read about events online and then I create some materials for my students.
Meeting the man Sam who survived Auschwitz
Some years ago I read an interesting book by a holocaust survivor- his name was Sam- and I wrote to him. I got his reply thanks to the publisher that sometimes sent his replies. Sam was an old man and he was the last survivor working on the ramp at Auschwitz.
He wrote a book Survivor: Auschwitz, The Death March and My Fight for Freedom .
He had to suffer and saw many people die but he wanted the young people to learn about his life and what he had seen in the concentration camps: after reading his book I felt that I should write to him.
Here is what he wrote to me : I shared it with my students. I will always read it in class to tell my students that the Holocaust existed.
Thank you for your message. I am always very pleased to hear about classes and projects like yours. My hopes for the world are that we can all live in peace. The first thing we need to do is to have respect for ourselves and for others, if we can not start with ourselves there is no hope for the bigger picture. This is the message I would like you to give to your students – they must respect themselves and others, and respect the fact that people are different. I would also ask that they try to help others less fortunate than themselves. We all live on the same planet, we are all brothers and sisters and I always say to people they must have respect and tolerance for their fellow humans. This is why people need to visit Auschwitz and must understand what the Nazi’s did. Your students need to understand that any society could become like Nazi Germany if we allow it to happen again and many new places like Auschwitz could easily open for business anywhere in the world. This is why the big lesson is respect and tolerance of our differences.
I am optimistic. I think the world is now a better place because of Hitler. I think that most people are good and have learnt the lessons of Hitler and his Nazi party. My dear mother, father, brothers and sisters and all the other millions of mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters all died so the world could learn the lesson of respect and tolerance for one-another. This has been a very high price to pay.
Thank you very much for telling your students about my book. Please say hello to them from me.
I will always remember Sam and his life experience as he had to teach us the big lesson of teaching tolerance.
Some years later, after reading the book and visiting Auschwitz I wrote my ebook for a teaching unit about the Holocaust.
I used the words shared by Sam in his letter to me and some videos where other people describe the atrocities they experienced while they were kept in the concentration camps.
My ebook is free and I use it with my classes when I teach the topic " Holocaust":
I would like other teachers to share their ideas about the events or topics they work on with their students in class.