Friday, March 11, 2011

Holocaust Survivor Shares Her Story with Us

Holocaust survivor Rachel Bodner speaking to the Seventh Grade.
We have been reading The Diary of Anne Frank in English, so our teacher Ms. Kinnear arranged to have a Holocaust survivor come to speak to us. Our Holocaust speaker's name was Rachel Bodner. She grew up in Belgium. She went in hiding in a nunnery, where the nuns kept care of her, knowing that she was Jewish. She was in a train going to Paris to see her family, when the train was bombed. For a few days after that her and her sisters were separated from her mother. A few days after that, a notice in the mail told her that her sister was supposed to go to a transit camp, but they tricked her family, and took her straight to Auschwitz, where she was killed.  Ms. Bodner was scared for her life, living in the ghetto.  
While speaking to us, she didn’t mention life in the ghetto, or much about what her life was like in the Holocaust, because she didn’t like the flashbacks. Ms. Bodner talked more about life morals, such as treating everyone with respect, understanding, and accepting all religions. She also advised us not to be lazy and to pick up after ourselves!  
We thought our visitor yesterday was a great speaker.  We personally thought it would be very frightening to have been in a ghetto like our visitor.  We think we would probably go crazy always having to be quiet and not be able to have my parents with me.  We are so sorry that any human being would have to go through that.  The time period that the Holocaust was in was a very crazy, scary time.  The lessons that the visitor was telling us were very beneficial and we will try our best to live that way.  The part about understanding and respecting all religions is the major part that stuck with us.  We think respecting all religions is a good thing because if you do respect all religions, then you can meet new people and explore the world.  We like the part when she said that having manners is beneficial and your moms will be proud of you.  We think she was a very good person to come in and talk to the class. 
We have much respect for Ms. Bodner, knowing what she has gone through and how she is still leading a normal life.  We hope she can come back to Garrison and speak to other grades, and maybe come talk to us again, because she was an amazing speaker.  
-- Text and Photos by Jessie B. and Sarah S. (Class of 2016) 


  1. That sounds really interesting! Did what Rachel say match what was said in the Diary of Anne Frank?

  2. Great story 7th grade! Hearing about Ms. Bodner's past life and story must have been a wonderful, inspiring experience for each and everyone of you. I can only hope, that next year, we the sixth grade, can have a similar experience with another inspirational speaker.

  3. Thanks for the comments! To answer your questions, Mrs. Bodner didn't say anything about Anne Frank, and I too hope that you can hear her story next year!