Sophomores Make a Personal Connection to History

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Sophomores at Amityville Memorial High School heard a powerful story from a Long Island man who, more than seven decades ago, survived the Holocaust. The first-hand account from Werner Reich gave students insight into one of the biggest atrocities in history. 

Mr. Reich has been visiting the high school for the past decade to support the 10th-grade social studies curriculum, which focuses on world history and includes extensive study of World War II. He told students that as a teenager, he was arrested and held in a concentration camp before finally being liberated at 17 years old and later moving to the United States. A PowerPoint presentation with photographs, maps and cartoons illustrated his tales of capture and survival while providing historical context of the Holocaust.  

His story served as inspiration for students to lead lives based upon kindness and respect. Mr. Reich urged them to fight injustice and oppression, and to stand up for anyone being mistreated.

“Ask yourself, ‘What is the right thing to?’ Then do it,” he said.

Social studies teachers explained that students learn how to cite primary sources in their writing, and there is no greater primary source than hearing from a person who lived through a historical event.