Thursday was Holocaust survivor Martin Lowenberg's twelfth year speaking to the Kingsford Middle School on his experiences in Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
â??This was a very important time in history that needs to be remembered,â?? Lowenberg said.
He spoke on the progression of the Nazi terror, starting with abuse in his village, to being transported like cattle to a Latvian ghetto, to eventually his survival in the Kaiserwald concentration camp. Kingsford eighth graders have been working for weeks on issues that happened within the Holocaust.
â??I did Nazi beliefs,â?? said eighth grader, Preston Strong. â??I think it was a really big part of the Holocaust. They did it by propaganda. If I told you something one time, and you really didn't believe it, you wouldn't believe it. If I kept on putting it into your mind, eventually you might even believe it. Thatâ??s what Hitler believed and he did it and it worked; it worked on a lot of Germans, and it really set the Holocaust going.â??
â??Holocaust is a word that means destruction of human beings by fire,â?? Lowenberg said. â??They were burned, and unfortunately, ashes are the only thing to show about them.â??
All of their stories, including those in Martin's family like the death of his twin brothers, are why he speaks out. He never wants people to forget about what happened lest history be doomed to repeat itself. He travels extensively throughout Michigan, giving students and communities the chance to jump out of a history book, and look into the eyes of man who survived what was arguably one of the worst travesties of all time.
â??My kids, if I have any, will not get to hear this from a primary source like Mr. Lowenberg,â?? Strong said. â??They won't get that. Itâ??s really a once-in-a-lifetime chance to talk to someone like that, and even getting into a small group like that, it's really cool.â??