Students learn valuable lessons in Scranton

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Students across the Commonwealth gathered Tuesday for the 36th Annual Teen Symposium on the Holocaust in Scranton.

Its mission is to give youngsters a better understanding of a dark period in world history.

The event on Tuesday was about educating younger generations on the horrors of the Holocaust through the stories of the survivors.

“I came to Auschwitz with my whole family,” said Holocaust survivor Lois Flamholz.

Flamholz spent two years in a concentration camp. She credits her survival to her four cousins who lived through the horrifying experience with her.

“We stayed together, and we helped each other, because what one couldn’t do, another one was able to do, that’s how I survived, with those four cousins,” Flamholz added.

Flamholz’s story is just one of the stories shared on Tuesday.

Students also had the opportunity to hear from Ruth Hartz who at the time of the war was just a little girl growing up in France, with a false identity to keep herself safe.

“I had to change my name to Renee, I had a cousin who gave me the name Renee. Which means reborn, so that’s very interesting since I survived, so I had a false first name, false last name, false address, don’t make any friends, and to me, that was my childhood,” Hartz said.

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Ruth expresses a sense of duty to share her story and Mark Schonwetter, who also survived the holocaust in hiding, agrees, emphasizes the critical role their stories play in helping younger individuals understand the realities of the holocaust

“That those young people all across our country, are being taught and they understand what really really happened during this period of time,” said Schonwetter.

Students at the event listened intently, impacted by the powerful testimonies shared.

“It was a really empowering experience for me, I learned a lot of new stuff that I didn’t know before and it really helps me understand more as to what happened,” said Scranton High School student Jayden Kuchack.

“It’s very saddening to think that human would do that to another human, but at the same time, the stories and how people have helped people stands out because it does show good in the world in the root of evil,” said Midvalley High School Student Brady Lettieri.

The Symposium on the Holocaust will continue again Wednesday, giving another group of over 600 students an opportunity to listen and learn from the survivor’s stories.

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