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November 23rd, 2009
Speaker awes eighth graders at Miller

Williams1Left to right: Miller Middle School staff Gretchen Norton, Caprica Neal, Jan Moody, Claire Hagan, Holocaust survivor Rose Williams, Grace Mueller and Jennifer Heath.

STAFF REPORT

On Nov. 12, the eighth grade students at Miller Middle School sat in awed silence listening to concentration camp survivor Rose Williams relate her experiences of imprisonment at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belson in Nazi-controlled Germany during World War II.

Tears not only flowed on the face of the speaker, but on many of the faces of the audience as she told of the death of her grandmother while in a camp.

Auschwitz was the largest concentration and extermination camp in Nazi Germany during the war. An estimated 1.1 million people died in the camp. Bergen-Belson was a smaller camp in northwest  Germany that started out as a prisoner of war camp and was later used as a concentration camp, and then became a camp for displaced persons. Among the estimated 50,000 people who died at Bergen-Belsen were Anne Frank and her sister Margot.

Williams instilled two lessons in the Miller eighth-graders. One was to remember what happened during the Holocaust in order to prevent it from happening again. The second lesson was “to not be bystanders,” but to be “rescuers for those in need.”

Following the lecture, Williams attended a luncheon in her honor sponsored by the eighth grade Language Arts Teachers at Miller.

Williams2 Williams shows her concentration camp tatoo to Miller student.

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