Holocaust Museum

Year 10 Humanities Excursion

On 7 March, the entire Year 10 cohort went on an excursion to the Melbourne Holocaust Museum as part of their study of World War II. They spent just over two hours learning about the Holocaust and its impacts at both a global and personal level. They were asked to focus on four main questions throughout their visit:

  • Why do people hate?
  • How did the Holocaust happen?
  • How did people survive?
  • What was the impact after liberation?

Through an introductory session, analysing artefacts, exploring the exhibition space, and listening to Dr Henry Ekert AM give testimony about his experiences as a child in hiding during the Holocaust, our students were able to gain a deeper insight into the Holocaust and answer these questions. Many students found Dr Ekert’s testimony to be especially moving. While two hours would seem to be a long time for Year 10 students to concentrate on such a powerful and confronting time in history, most students wished we could have had more time to engage with the exhibitions.

Some of the comments from our students about the day:

The trip to the museum put things into perspective, making me realise on a deeper level that these people weren't just numbers, they were people, with families and friends and lives. I feel like seeing objects, and clothes, and books that were actually used at the time was something particularly confronting. I remember seeing a dress which belonged to a young girl, the dress being made by her grandmother out of her own blouse, so she wouldn't be cold in the ghetto. The girl was sadly killed, and her parents kept the dress, donating it to the museum years later, when they moved to Melbourne. To hear the story behind that, and to hear and see how young she was, was something else I'll never forget.
I think it was [eye opening] finding out information on personal identities of people involved and how each person took each day. Wrapping our heads around exactly how many people were killed and not just seeing it as a number but seeing each person as a human.
I wish that we could have had more time in the exhibition, so we could hear and see more about the individual stories.
I wish we could have met more survivors and heard different stories it would have been very interesting to see different people’s stories from the same event and having some more time to really look around explore and learn.

Elisa Litvin
Humanities Leader