The Holocaust in History and Living Memory
About the Field Study
This summer, 22 students from the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) and 5 students from the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland, and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB) will embark on a life-changing journey as they travel to Germany and Poland to participate in a 15 day field study to learn about the Holocaust. Throughout the field study, students and staff have the opportunity to contribute to this blog. Please check back regularly for updates.
July 7, 2017 • Visit with Max Eisen
As part of their English courses, student enrolled in the program read Max Eisen's memoir By Chance Alone. Today the group had the opportunity to meet Max, to listen to his story, and to ask him questions.
Meeting Max Eisen by Mikaela Norkus
Today our group had the incredible opportunity to meet Max Eisen. After reading his Holocaust memoir, By Chance Alone, we understood the content of his story. When Max detailed his experiences, it allowed us to connect his story with his personality. He gave us a deeper understanding of the Holocaust, and inspired us to learn more. Showing the group pictures of Auschwitz throughout his presentation, Max gave descriptions of what the camp was like while he was there. We can never fully understand the injustices that Max was forced to experience, but he allowed us to appreciate how difficult it is to share his story.
July 8, 2017 • A very busy day!
Today was a very busy day! We gathered for a full day of classes at St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS where students completed their final pre-field study evaluations.
At 3:30 we departed for St. Patrick's Church in Brampton. Father Vito Marziliano and the entire congregation were very welcoming. Father Vito offered a special prayer and blessing for our students and teachers, and we each received a small crucifix as a symbol of our work as missionaries of peace.
After mass we made our way to Pearson where we are currently awaiting our flight to Berlin. Our student blog posts will continue tomorrow.
July 9, 2017 • Arrival in Berlin + Walking Tour
Berlin Walking Tour by Nathan Goncalves
Today we landed in Berlin, Germany. It’s great to finally be in Europe when we have been waiting for so long. One of the things that I found the most interesting on today’s tour is the Reichstag. It’s really cool to see a country so far away have similar government procedures as we do. In Canada we have a prime minister in the parliament building. If he or she wants to change a law or consider a solution for a problem in the world, it has to get approval Parliament first. It's the same thing in Germany with minor details that are different. For example, the prime minister in Canada, has an office in the parliament where he usually works. In Germany, the chancellor works in a different building beside the parliament. In all, I think this was a great first day. I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of Germany and also Poland.
Photo Credit: Nathan Goncalves
Berlin Walking Tour by Ryan Tsang
After the long 8 hour flight to Germany, the walking tour really awoke my senses to the fact I had actually landed in Germany. I learned many things about the infrastructure of Germany but it was interesting to see that the wall ran through every part of Berlin. Through the roads, the street cars and parks. On this day I witnessed one of the last remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall that was placed in between West and East Berlin. Along with the piece of wall there is a brick pathway that runs throughout the city marking where the wall once stood. Other pieces of wall are placed in museums around the world. What I thought was really cool about the Berlin Wall was how it was commemorated. To this day there is a brick path that runs throughout the city that remains once where the berlin wall was. This gives me chills. It amazes me that I was able to see something so powerful with my own eyes. The wall is history that cannot and should not be forgotten. I learned about the infrastructure of Germany and many other interesting things, but the most interesting part of today’s walking tour was seeing the last part of the Berlin Wall.
Photo Credit: Ryan Tsang