Holocaust Studies

Holocaust Education Week Student Poetry
Posted on 11/16/2020
Mrs. Mitchell's Holocaust Studies class is an honors Social Studies elective that explores, researches, and analyzes the murder of six million Jews and other victims of the Nazi regime.

The students begin their study of The Holocaust by investigating the slow, methodical process in Germany and Austria of a national regime of bigotry against Jews. They continue with the systematic murders of the mentally and physically disabled of Germany and Soviet prisoners.

The class then explore the plans put into place to create death camps with Hitler's Final Solution put into place, the plan to annihilate all Jews in Europe. Students hear survivors' testimonies, explore journals found in the Warsaw Ghetto, view art and poetry from survivors and historians alike.

Compassion is the key component to the course. Knowledge is the power to make sure history doesn't repeat itself. 

Below are a few of the poems written by students in Ms. Mitchell's Holocaust Studies class. 

Never Let History Repeat Itself
By Meranda R. 11th Grade

How are we supposed to forget? 
The days full of torturous work
The nights full of not knowing whether the person next to you would be alive or not the next day 
Terror wrapping every inch of our souls 
Watching as our families were separated and never seen again
United again in the afterlife? 
Or forever torn apart? 
The children never understood 
They tried their best to do the work and play Hiding
Becoming their only coping mechanism 
Almost like a cruel game of hide and seek 
Only being able to hide in ghettos before one man decided their fate for them
 Then it was the poor children that had to go to the doctors
The experiments and surgeries rendering them disorientated 
Or even dead
Are they forever tortured?
Or do they get a peaceful afterlife?
I don’t believe we are meant to forget.
If we were meant to forget we would not remember this at all anymore. 
Forgive and forget? Or fight for all? 
Never. Let. History. Repeat. Itself.

The Warsaw Ghetto
By Patrice J. 12th Grade

Should I recall the atrocities in Warsaw?
Should I recall the constant despair
The constant fear engraved in our young ones
The constant regret of the decisions that were made
Should I recall their monstrous  faces
Should I recall their wicked intentions
The need for continuous violence
The determined looks on them
Mass graves drenched with bodies
Nights filled with streams of blood
Should I recall their tortuous activities
Should I recall the steady pain
The destructive urge their bodies were filled with?

The Sun Set
By Adreana C.  12th Grade

It was always sunny outside.
Sun is a sign of happiness. Right?
After being deported to this camp, I felt no happiness and saw no sun.

The kids here don't really understand what's going on.
Just the fact that they've lost sight of their parents.
I don't know anyone here.

I haven't seen much of anything since I've been here.
Haven't eaten much of anything either.
I want to go home, I know they're going to kill us here.

They didn't like us- us Jews I mean.
The children were only in here to keep them from keeping the generation alive
Sick. I don't want to be here.

Everybody talks about the mass shootings.
Is that where my friends ended their journey?
I haven't seen them since we left. I'm scared.

I worked till my fingers bled.
I worked till my legs were and even then, I worked til my body shut down.
There was no way out. I needed to shower.

If we sat out because of exhaustion we were executed.
We worked around those bodies. Germans were too evil to remove them from our sight.
Maybe it was supposed to be our motivation. I didn't want to end up like that.

We were finally going to shower. The Germans did have the tiniest bit of courtesy.
How was I supposed to shower while rubbing arms with the person next to me? There's no room.
There was no water, instead there was smoke. My chest burned, like a caged up fire in my lungs. Eyes watery, Ears ringing; there was so much screaming and crying. The burning was the last thing I felt after falling to the ground. This was the end of my journey.

What about them?
By Josie J.P. 10th Grade

What about them?
Those that had no clue what was to come, 
What about them?
Those that started to feel alone,
What about them?
Those that couldn't feel at home,
What about them?
Those that felt hope was gone,
What about them? 
Those who had family that were lost, 
What about them?
Those taken like nothing was wrong,
What about them?
Those that believed one man's deception,
What about them?
Those that wanted no part in their violence,
Why was it them?
Because of the belief of one man?
What about them?
Those who worked until they could work no more,
Those that had to leave their homes, 
What about them? 
Those that fought back and were killed, 
Those that hid so that they could live, 
Those that lost a will to live, 
What about them?
Those that lost their lives for experiments, 
What about them?
Those that survived, but are scared till the very end, 
What about them?

Ghetto Despair
By Timothy A.  11th Grade

Today the ghettos know a different fear,
Many raids bringing more and more despair.
Families being separated and millions being killed,
No one knows if we’ll survive but we try to keep our will to live.
People being sent away on trains to unknown destinations with promise of better living,
While more and more are left to die of disease and hunger.
The ghettos are full and continue to overflow, 
Many have died and it’s starting to show.
Mass graves filled with the dead,
With nowhere for many to place their head.
The lingering smell of death adds to our fears, 
Women and children shedding a heavy amount of tears.
When they raid we try our hardest to hide, 
Degrading us and being brought here to the ghettos has taken away our pride.
People riddled with typhus, 
Their eyes are all lifeless.
The Nazis have done nothing but ruthlessly kill, 
It seems they find it a thrill. 
They come through like a flood, 
But they leave nothing but pain, despair, and blood. 

Train Ride To A Bitter End
By Sergio R.   9th Grade

The locomotive carried the weight of hopeful people,
Those who sought a propitious life,
Many taken, most were feeble,
Many had kids and a wife,
They would soon arrive at their destination,
The entrance would lead to their demise,
Who could’ve guessed such a sad narration,
When they were deceived by the Germans lies,
Once they arrived, their faces knew,
The thought of a new future was clear,
The sky began to fade from blue,
And their faces resonated fear,

Families were divided,
Children had minimal food provided, labor and hatred coincided,
Everyone lived in agony,
No one could live in harmony.

Soon people found out how fast time flies,
Museums were created to recognize,
All these people and their lives,
Before you trust someone let me advise,
Remember the Jews and the German lies.