ALPENA, MICH — School is out, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Students from Alpena High School are educating community members about the Holocaust with their exhibit at Besser museum.
The American Perspectives class at Alpena High School read the book We Fought Back by Allan Zullo this past semester. The book highlights the struggles and resistance of Jewish teenagers during the holocaust. Now students are sharing their knowledge with the community.
Student Allie Uelauv says, “A lot the resisters that were resisting during the Holocaust were actually teenagers, like our age which was pretty interesting to know that they had to leave their families and go resist against those people at this age.
Classmate Sawyer Haugerud adds, “It was also pretty cool to learn that most of them are still alive – well a lot of them are, and they succeeded in their careers after the war.”
The American Perspectives class is unconventional compared to traditional high school courses and better equips students to impact and enrich their society, as explained by history teacher Eric Mitchell.
“History is extremely important. There are so many stories that are worth telling, and I think when we combine an English class with it, we give the students so many different avenues to tell those stories. Whether it’s a museum exhibit like this, whether it’s something they can publish online, but it’s more than just reading a story and trying to commit it to memory. Now, they’re doing something with the information they’ve learned.”
The exhibit consists of informational panels and 3D depictions of the way some resisters were forced to live, but even with the hard work that went into constructing the displays, the students say, there’s still so much more to know.
Allie says, “We obviously were just scraping the surface on what the stories really are, so I highly encourage everyone who visits to go do their own research because there’s so much you can learn and it’s absolutely incredible.”