A Trip to the Tolerance Education Center

Health teacher Mr. Reyes and Holocaust survivor Rose Blum pose at the Tolerance Education Center. Blum escaped the harsh conditions of Nazi Germany as a child.

As some students begin to wrap up or just start their lesson on the effects of WWII, some were granted with the chance to hear from a child of two Holocaust Survivors: Rose Blum. As the story of her early childhood life began to unfold, students grew silent and all eyes were on Rose.

“I thought her story was really good, to hear it from a little kid’s perspective, because it’s usually the adults that really talk about their story,” Valerie Gamiño, sophomore, said.

Rose Blum was only six months old when her biological father was shot in the head by a German soldier and left to die on the streets. Her mother was forced to leave Germany and her husband behind for the sake of her and her children’s safety. Blum recollects the two things her mother taught her growing up, two things she’d wished would stick with everyone in the room forever. Survive and Succeed.

“I do agree with her motto, to a certain extent,” Sophia Santos, Sophomore, said.“Yes you can survive and yes you can succeed, although when there is no motivation nor hope it doesn’t apply. I will admit that during this time [The Holocaust] this motto would be applying greatly, but it no longer applies now.”

With emotions mellowing down and a break emitted to the students, many got to take pictures with Blum and explore the small exhibit more. After the short break students sat down to watch a movie based on the Holocaust called, The Devils Arithmatic.

Mrs. Perez, World history teacher and one of the chaperones on the field trip felt that while the film was informative, it was not the best use of time.

“I, however, was not too fond of the movie after her testimony; I thought that they would have an activity or something else to do rather than just watch a movie, so it kind of took away from the experience,” Perez said.

There aren’t many Holocaust survivors left, so some kids were very grateful to meet Blum. Many lessons were learned. Mr. Reyes, Health Science teacher that was also chaperoning the field trip, thought there was a great lesson about humanity in today’s society to be learned.

“I learned that we humans can be very bad, incredibly evil to each other,” Reyes said. “ But also, that there is hope for humanity, even more, the human spirit is amazingly resilient. The Jewish people are an example of it.”