Each year, over 10,000 students from across Northeast Ohio join us at the Maltz Museum for student tours. Many of these students hear from a survivor who shares a personal story. This is one of the most meaningful ways students can experience history, by meeting a person connected to that historical event.
On Jan 18, 2018, students from Facing History New Tech heard from Holocaust survivor Stanley Bernath. Their teacher, Miriam Giardina, shared that the students were able to draw important connections between his traumatic experience and difficulties they might face in their own lives.
She said, “Hearing Stanley talk was profound. Knowing these kids stories and hearing them ask Stanley questions, you can see them searching for themselves within this narrative. And that’s something we emphasize at Facing History New Tech. We emphasize being upstanders. Our motto is ‘I will make a difference.’ Some of our kids experience trauma in their lives, they have a lot of things they go through—like some of them experience drug use in the home, they experience being evicted from their homes, they have gang violence happening around them. That’s a reality for them, it’s not something that’s on TV, it’s real. To hear Stanley talk about this traumatic experience that he went through as a teenager—as someone their age—they can find a connection and that’s really helpful. To have an adult make that connection for them is important for them. During his talk, he kept repeating three things that he had learned, which was to never give up no matter how bad it seems, to always believe in yourself, and that no one is any better than I am and I’m not better than anyone else. Hearing him saying those three things after surviving the Holocaust, certainly our kids can take that to heart and then do something good in the world the same way he did something good in the world.”
Thank you for joining us Facing History New Tech!