SHS Students Honored at Holocaust Museum Opening
“We were walking with a large cluster of people and he just sort of trailed behind, but I was right next to him,” freshman Ethan Siao said. “He didn’t really say much.”
91-year-old Dallas resident and Holocaust survivor Max Glauben walked through the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum on the institution’s opening day with local students, including Ethan and his classmate Emma Derr, when they happened upon a photo of young Max in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he lived for three years when he was only a couple of years younger than Ethan and Emma are now.
“He just kind of took it all in,” Ethan continued.
Out of hundreds of applicants, the two ninth graders from SHS were honored by the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum for their writing compositions in the “Every Child Has a Name” contest. Emma and Ethan completed their work as part of assignments during their eighth grade English classes with teachers Angela Henderson and Laura Fitzgerald, respectively.
“I started writing my poem as just a project in Ms. Henderson’s class, but the more invested I became in the Holocaust and the child I wrote about, the more I became invested in the poem,” Emma said. “I wanted to convey the weight of the Holocaust and show people that we can’t forget any of it.”
Ethan also considered the gravity of his research topic as he worked on his essay about one of the estimated 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust.
“[As I researched], I found it tragic that everyone tries to find a happy ending to each of the millions of stories - like trying to find some sort of positive conclusion to it all, but that isn’t what really happened, you know?” Ethan questioned. “With all the stuff that we see in movies and on TV, the plot always has some sort of up-tick or some sort of comeback, but that doesn’t always work out, so that was sort of a thought that came to me at the last minute and I sort of all poured that into my [essay’s] conclusion.”
In addition to their honor and meeting Mr. Glauben, Emma and Ethan were humbled by the visit to the brand new Dallas museum and encourage others to visit. Ethan thinks that students can learn much from experiences such as this one.
“[The Holocaust] was an ugly thing,” he said. “It’s much more about facing it and learning about it. You just really have to dive into and understand that this happened and this was awful.”