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Holocaust survivor speaks to MP students

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Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014 4:45 am

Mountain Pointe High School students were given the chance to listen to Holocaust survivor, Dr. Alex White, who shared his personal story and engaged students to become beacons of stopping hate.

White spoke to the entire student body of Mountain Pointe through a three-hour discussion with some key lessons on life, consisting of hate being the same as indifference and the silent majority who allow hateful acts to occur and hate to be spread.

According to White’s biography, he lived through the liquidation of the Krosno Ghetto, and spent a year in the Luftwaffe Labor Camp, and six months in the concentration camp at Krakow-Plassow before surviving the last months of the Holocaust at Oskar Schindler’s camp in Bruennlitz, Sudetenland.

Samantha Martin, a sophomore world history instructor, said the speech was a way for students to immerse themselves into real-life history, and hear from a person who survived the Holocaust.

Martin has been teaching her students a particular Holocaust unit that focuses on the Anti-Semitism culture before World War II to look more in-depth at the causes of the war.

“If you don’t look at the causes of the war in-depth and why the Holocaust was allowed to happen then you’re not preventing genocide, or paying attention to genocide that is occurring in the world currently,” she said.

Her 140 students wanted to show a sign of respect for White, and decided to dress formal for the lecture.

“Dr. White took us through his personal story, but he also gave us the background of the war,” Martin said. “The overall message was hate is the same as indifference, so if you do nothing to stop it or prevent it you are a bystander.”

The message White spoke to students also encompassed the anti-bullying campaign that has been spreading throughout the hallways of Mountain Pointe.

Sophomore Sara Leinenveber was very moved after listening to White and decided to write him a poem, thanking him for speaking to the student body and how his words would be an inspiration to others.

“When you actually hear it from an actual person its unbelievable what they went through,” she said.

Martin’s students also sent thank you cards to White.

Julia LaRoque said she was glad that Johnson was able to have a Holocaust survivor speak to the student body.

“It was a real amazing story.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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