Jewish Holocaust Museum Excursion


Jewish Holocaust Museum Excursion

Mrs Roth organised an excursion for Year 10 History to the Melbourne Holocaust Museum– Albury, Leeton and Wagga campuses for their History class which has been focusing on the Holocaust.

We had a discussion about including Year 11 as they are studying the novel Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in English for the unit which focuses on Narrative: Innocence and Dread.“The Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre is an institution dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945.

We consider the finest memorial to all victims of racist policies to be an educational program which aims to combat anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice in the community and foster understanding between people.

The Year 10 students as part of their formal assessment have to complete a site study of a Jewish Museum which focuses on the human element of the Holocaust. Students are expected to view and analyse pieces of evidence that support the Holocaust and use them as evidence in answering a variety of questions culminating in an extended response in the form of an essay. The students from Year 10 brought their task with them on Wednesday and took notes as they viewed and listened to the guides and the Holocaust survivors.

Year 11’s focus was the context, setting and details about the Holocaust and again the personal element of understanding the experiences of those who are left to tell their stories. We will be completing a reflective task using the interactive website from the Museum and their recollections of the day after listening to the survivor’s talk.

Above: Students meet with Holocaust surviver, Jack (aged 91)

The format of the afternoon’s visit included the education consultant from the museum ascertaining what the students knew about the holocaust and discussing the details of the visit. She was informative and engaging. We watched an introductory video which focused on the human aspect of the Holocaust rather than the numbers which can make us ‘numb’. We were then split into groups and assigned a volunteer guide who showed use to a variety of exhibitions in the museum and discussed this with us. Our particular guide focused on Treblinka, one of the extermination camps and the Lodz Ghetto and discussed the survivor whose story was told on the walls. We were then blessed to unexpectedly meet this man, Abram, who is 91 and answered our questions about the artefacts and his memories.

We then moved back into the lecture theatre and another survivor Jack spoke to a mesmerised audience about his experiences in the Warsaw ghetto from the age of 15 and how he was taken to Auschwitz and worked at various parts of the camp during the war and how he survived. Jack is also 91 and it was amazing to hear his recollections and experiences which brings such a horrible time in history to life and personalises the experiences for us. He answered questions from students and teachers and posed with them for a photograph. We were blessed to have experienced such a memorable excursion and meet these amazing human beings who are thankful for the lives that they made in post war Australia. The day will be remembered for a lifetime. 

Above: Students from MET South Cluster in Years 10 & 11 pose for a group photo outside the Jewish Holocaust Museum.