Friday, January 11, 2019. Today, Hillview's 8th graders had the opportunity to see and hear one man's story of living and surviving the Holocaust. His visit is timely since our 8th graders are about to start reading The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, which covers the topics of World War II, concentration camps and the Holocaust.
Ed was born in Dobromil, Poland. He was 5 years old when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September, 1939. Prior to World War II, Poland was a one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe with over 3 million Jewish citizens. Ed’s mother was an attorney, an uncommon occupation for a woman to hold at that time. Ed’s father, Joseph, ran a large and successful lumber mill. After the Nazi invasion, legal immigration was no longer possible and Jews began to lose their rights.
Ed’s parents were able to arrange hiding places with Catholic families in Poland. At the age of six Ed was separated from his parents, assumed a new identity and went into hiding with a stranger.
Our students attentively listened and asked thoughtful questions, one of which was "Have you ever gone back [to Poland]?" to which Mr. Lichtman replied that he had. He added was sad that he couldn't go back to personally thank the lady who sheltered him because he didn't know her real name or the town's name in which he was sheltered. Mr. Lichtman also shared that out of approximately 33,000 Jews from his hometown he was one of only 3,000 survivors.
Hillview would like to thank Mr. Ed Lichtman for sharing his story, as well as, thank Mrs. Holz and Ms. Pineda for coordinating this event. Thank you to Hillview's Band students that performed during the assembly; thanks to Mr. Thompson and Mr. Gacea for handling the video and livestream. Last, but certainly not least, thanks to all our 8th grade students for their time and attention during the presentation.