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POLAHS Sophomores go to Holocaust Museum

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On Mar. 25,  2018 and Mar. 26, the sophomores took on a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, California. Many students became excited about the trip that had been announced by our history teacher, Mrs. Moon since the first semester. Many teachers had become stressful of the days before the trip but the students saw that it was worth it.

One student named, Karla Meza, is a sophomore student from Port of Los Angeles High School. She said very happily, “ I am ecstatic for this trip. I am also very excited and interested”.

Several other students on the way there were saying things like: “This is so exciting” “I am glad that I decided to go” and the most common, “This is so cool!”.

The trip was worth quite a bit for the school to pay since the sophomores were able to ride Coach buses and have tours of the Museum.

Students riding in Coach buses

Karla Meza said, “Yes. It is worth the school’s money because it’s important for us to learn throughout the means of interacting with said topic”.

The trip was also supposed to relate to what the 10th grade history class is learning which they are since they have been hitting on the topic of World War II and on Adolf Hitler’s horrific decision on setting up concentration and labor camps for Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, socialists, and anyone who was thought to be against the Nazi. More kids would be able to learn more from this trip by the details that were said and what events happened leading to the Holocaust.

Another student named, Michael Ibarra stated that the tour will be, “..showing us a part of the Holocaust that we have not seen”.

Which was actually very true because at one point, the students had to be in a wooden box car, where prisoners going to concentration camps had to be in, and have their arms up for about five minutes but it felt like it took an hour. The tour guide explained that around 100 people would be squished together into the boxcar, that was fairly small, and that there was a lack of oxygen in the boxcars. He said that mothers had to raise up their children with their arms so that the child would at least get some oxygen. But if the child was on the floor, they would either die of lack of oxygen or of being squished by the people around them.

Students were then able to hear a story of a lifetime from Holocaust survivors like Erika Fabian. Erika was a small infant when World War 2 occurred. Her mother had faked papers when officials in a “Yellow Star House” told all Jews to give the safe passes. Her mother was smart in not doing it because her mother knew that the Nazi officials would not give them back.

Michelle Zelaya, right, with Erika Fabian, left

When her mother saw that their lives were in danger, she took action and put them in a hospital where they would be safe. They then found themselves in a box car with the other children from the hospital on their way to a concentration camp. A Jew, that disguised himself as a Nazi soldier, saved her and her sister. They later had to leave Hungary in 1956 and had changed their documents stating that they were Christians. They also had to change their names so that they wouldn’t sound Jewish which came that her new name was Erika and still is to this very day.

After the story, students had to go outside to eat their lunch as vendors past by to sell food to them. The students were laughing, rolling down hills, and eating under the shade of the trees all while talking about their experience.

One person said, “I thought the trip would be more of an independent walk” but some expected that it would be with guides.

But that matters the most is if they actually learned something from this trip and not have just gone because of not having school that day.

Karla Meza actually did learn from this trip and thought, “I did learn a lot more than I could have in a textbook because I got to meet with people who were actually there to experience the Holocaust, and we were shown the little things that happened that wouldn’t end up in a textbook”.

Then students were taken on the Coach buses and went back to the school with full minds and full hearts.

The students hope to go participate in more trips like this later in the future.

About the Writer
Michelle Zelaya, Writer

Michelle is a 15-year-old girl and a 10th grader attending Port of Los Angeles High School. She likes writing for the journalism class and she is currently in her second year of being in the class. She enjoys hanging out with friends, eating food, and being with her family. She is in several clubs in the school like: Journalism, Christian Club, and singing club. Some of her hobbies is to listen to music, doodle, sleep, and go on social media. Her favorite genre is mostly songs that play on her playlist. Her favorite artists are Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift. Her personality consists of always trying to be positive, funny, and being generous. When she graduates, in the year of 2020, she wants to go to USC, UCLA, or Stanford University to become something around the medical field.

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