Holocaust Speaker and Survivor
By Monica Lepper
Stephanie Marks, a speaker for the Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education spoke to the sophomore class at Seton Friday May 9 as part of their World War II experience day. Marks was born in Poland, and as a teenager, she and her family fled Nazi Europe with a lot of obstacles on the way. Marks is now an 83 year old holocaust survivor. Her and her family escaped during WWII and with the help of Catholics and Catholic nuns, she was able to flee into America.
Marks was a dynamic speaker and included a powerful video and PowerPoint in her presentation. The talk included the journey of Marks, day to day moments from Nazis occupying countries and then Marks being in America. When asked about the speaker, religion teacher, Eric Green said, “I hope that she reminds everyone the important of the holocaust, and talk about what is going on today and the aftermath of the people from Rwanda and even though it still isn’t going on, people are still affected from the family they lost.” Sophomore Mary Oehler said “I really enjoyed this presentation. It gave me a new outlook on life and I learned not to take anything for granted. Stephanie Marks had a really inspiring talk and I was glad I was able to see it.”
Sophomores in religion class have been looking at the story of Irena Sendler. Sendler was a Catholic social worker who smuggled 2500 Jewish children out of ghettoes, saving them from Treblinka, which was one of the concentration camps that exterminated people. Through the speaker, Green is hoping students see the connection between Stephanie Marks and Irena Sendler’s story. Marks wasn’t saved by Sendler, but was saved in a similar way. Sendler’s story portrayed in the film The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, shows the devastating effects on the genocide on children. Children cannot always communicate directly the horrors of war, and sometimes the medium of art is the best way to show their confusion or thoughts of the whole experience.
Green also arranged an exhibit called From the Children, About the Children, For the Children: Art of the Holocaust from the Cincinnati museum for holocaust humanity to be displayed in the chapel May 8 and 9. This is specifically art created by children in a variety of ghettoes and concentration camps, and speaks of the emotions of these children and all that they went through during the Holocaust.