Students Hear the Impact of Hate from Holocaust Survivor

In recognition of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 17-18, Middle and Senior School students participated in a live Zoom presentation today featuring 83-year-old Holocaust Survivor, Eva Meisels, from the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre.
Mrs. Meisels shared memories of growing up Jewish in the Budapest Ghetto during World War II. While quite young at the start of the war, she recalled her father being sent to a forced labour camp, along with many of the other Jewish fathers and older brothers during the Nazi invasion of Hungary. She also recounted the food shortages and cold winters they endured in close proximity “packed like sardines” in the Ghetto, and being forced to wear a yellow Star of David on her clothing.
 
Mrs. Meisels reminded students that her story of being Jewish during this time is just one example of what hate can do to any race, color, religion, gender, or disability. She and her late husband, Leslie, also a Holocaust survivor from Hungary, felt it important to continue talking about the pain they experienced for being born Jewish at that fateful moment in history. 

She started and finished her talk by sharing these two quotes and emphasized the importance of speaking out about intolerance of any type. That is the only way to put a stop to it and the lifetime of pain it inflicts.
 
“First they came for the Communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
 
“Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.
 
“Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
 
“Then they came for me,
And by that time no one was left.” – Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a German theologian and Lutheran pastor
 
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, modern philosopher (1863-1952)
 
Thank you for Eden Davis ’25 and the Diversity Club for inviting Mrs. Meisels as our special guest today. Eden initially reached out to the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre back in January and was persistent in securing Mrs. Meisels this week in honour of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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CDS wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. For thousands of years, these have been the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We also recognize the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples who also shared this land.  CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for these lands and waters for future generations.

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13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5 
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Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.