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Yom Hashoah - Grade 11 Interactive Exhibition 

To commemorate Yom Hashoah on Monday 6 May - Holocaust Memorial Day - our Grade 11 students orchestrated an interactive exhibition within the Black Box Theatre at Elsa High School. The exhibition captivated students from all grades, offering a multifaceted exploration of the Holocaust. Attendees were transported back in time as they delved into the vibrant Jewish life in pre-World War II Europe, witnessing the rich cultural heritage that was tragically lost. Additionally, thought-provoking exhibits shed light on the harrowing realities of life within the concentration camps, allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of the immense suffering endured by millions. This exhibition served as a poignant reminder to honour the memories of those who perished and to strive for a world free from hatred and persecution.


On May 6th, the Holocaust Memorial Day, Grade 11 held an exhibition regarding the Holocaust. There were 4 stations explaining life before the Holocaust, life during the Holocaust, life after the Holocaust and life at the concentration camps. Furthermore, Grade 11s shared their experiences of their trip to Poland last October, where they visited Auschwitz and other concentration camps which allowed them to have a much deeper understanding of the Holocaust. 

Every year on the Holocaust Memorial Day, I learn more about the Holocaust and I am reminded of the horrible catastrophic acts committed by the Nazis. Grade 11s prepared a very interactive exhibition with different activities aimed at making us understand the Holocaust better. One of the activities that greatly impacted me was in the station regarding life at the camps. I learnt that in Auschwitz, people lived in dorms with triple bunk beds and in each bunk, there would be 20 people squished on one bed. The activity they prepared was for us to try to fit ourselves in the designated area they labelled with tape. Although we did not have 20 people, the labelled area gave me a much clearer picture of how limited the conditions were to fit 20 people in one bunk. 

The Grade 11 presentations helped me to realise what horror the Jewish people had to endure and how many people were murdered in the Holocaust. 

In one exhibit, Jack and Hinako put into perspective how many Jewish people were killed as they showed us an image of rocks that represented the Jewish people, the memorial only held 17,000 rocks out of 1.6 million people who were killed in Auschwitz. They also helped me comprehend the horrendous living conditions of the concentration camps: the small beds they crammed 15-20 grown adults in; the cold and helpless winters the prisoners endured; and the unyielding jobs like having to burn and bury your loved ones. 

In another exhibit, we were encouraged to write a list, putting ourselves in the shoes of the Jews who were brought to concentration camps and were stripped of their clothes, bags, shoes, and all of their belongings. Our task was to write what we would miss the most. Many things came to mind like my freedom, my home, my family, and my everyday food. Writing this letter changed my perspective and helped me appreciate things that I have and that I do in my everyday life, like going to school, walking freely, having access to proper sanitation and so on. 

Overall, my biggest takeaway from these presentations is that although the Jewish people have been through so much, we have never given up, and that is what led us to our Jewish Nation where instead of being enslaved and tortured just because of our religion we now have a Nation we can defend.  

Of the four interactive stations where we could learn about what happened in the Holocaust, the most interesting exhibit was where they asked us to write letters as if we were in Auschwitz. It was torrid to put myself in their shoes and imagine what life was like in the concentration camps, to imagine the agony that they went through, the clothes that they wore, the food that they ate, the rooms they had to endure. 

It put me in a pensive mood and I began to look at my life and see how much I have to be grateful for. My biggest takeaway was that people can be so cruel and harm us just because of religion, race, skin colour and so much more, which is why we need to resist and tell those who oppress us that we will always fight hatred and oppression. 

The Holocaust Exhibition made by Grade 11 was very interesting. One of the reasons the exhibition was interesting was that there were four presentations, each covering a different aspect of the Holocaust. . The presentation that Jack and Hinako gave especially held my attention because it gave us a lot of information about how the Jews were treated horribly.

In another exhibit, we got to write letters as prisoners in a concentration camp, and we had to describe what our life would be like if we were one of the prisoners.

In Elya, Mac, and Charlotte's exhibition, they discussed what happened after the Holocaust and how everyone involved spread out throughout the world. We also learned that a lot of victims were diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which can affect a person's ability to work, perform day-to-day activities or relate to their family and friends. A person with PTSD can often seem uninterested or distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out painful memories.

Overall the exhibition left us all with lots to think about, lots to grieve, and lots to be thankful for today.