Sophomores Visit the Holocaust Museum
Opened on April 19, 2009, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center has been one of the most popular museums Chicago has to offer. The museum offers a wealth of information with its films, photos, and artifacts. The architecture of the museum is remarkable, with the symbolic lowering of the floor to the concentration camp galleries, then the rising until the end of the gallery. The exhibit aims to honor the memory of the millions who were murdered during the Holocaust, but it also salutes the courage and resilience of the survivors.
This year, Ms. Cornejo’s Honors Religion II classes have been reading Night by Elie Wiesel. Ms. Cornejo chose the novel Night as a supplemental text to the Old Testament curriculum.
“Elie Wiesel’s story of courage, love, and his belief in the human spirit is a story that I wanted to share with my students. I chose to take the Honors Religion II classes to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center so my students can get a new and authentic experience through the artifacts, voices, and the testimonials of those who survived and perished in the Holocaust,” said Ms. Cornejo.
The remarkable account of Wiesel’s very own experience kept the entire class in awe. To be able to physically see real-life artifacts from the very camps Wiesel was imprisoned in made the experience so undeniably certain. “The Holocaust Museum was an amazing experience, not only for me, but also for my classmates. Not only did we read and learn about the Holocaust in class, but going to the museum that had real artifacts from the Holocaust made it so much more important to me,” shared Krystal Corral.
Several students noted how their favorite part was the first part of the tour Tigerman’s Memorial Room of Remembrance that reaches for the sky with the first names of victims written on the walls. Numerous students also spoke of how lucky they were to hear from a real-life Holocaust survivor named Dov Borus. Ariane O’Shield said, “Hearing him made everything feel so surreal instead of a story we read out of textbooks.”
The Holocaust Museum was surely an experience the sophomore class will never forget. “It was a memorable experience and truly helped me understand the lessons behind the Holocaust,” said Caroline Wood. The trip became a lighthouse for the unknown, finally uncovering true and surreal facts about such a dark time in history.