Sachem High School East AP World History students in Erin Gearns’ classes recently visited the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove. They toured the museum and heard the firsthand account of Mireille Taub, a Holocaust survivor.
Mrs. Taub was born in Paris and took the last train out of France before the French surrendered to the Nazis. Her family survived their train being bombed by the Luftwaffe, or the German Air Force, and she and her family eventually walked to safety by traveling across the Pyrenees, passing through Spain and Portugal and finally arriving in New York on Aug. 11, 1940.
Mrs. Taub shared the survival story of her husband, David Taub, as well as many personal artifacts. Students were able to hold the shoes she wore as she fled France and the yellow star worn by her uncle before he escaped France. They were grateful to meet, hear and learn from such an extraordinary person and left the museum inspired and with a deeper understanding of the Holocaust.
“Due to the advanced age of Holocaust survivors, this is the last generation of students who will be able to learn from them directly,” said Mrs. Gearns. “My hope is that my students will carry these stories with them and teach their children about the courageous people who have shared their stories with us over the past 10 years.”
Ahead of the field trip, Mrs. Gearns learned that she was one of 30 educators selected to attend a prestigious Holocaust Education Program in Israel this summer. Participants selected to attend this 10-day intensive learning experience are taught by the world’s most experienced and respected Holocaust educators and historians at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Mrs. Gearns is grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity and looks forward to sharing her experiences with students and colleagues this fall.
Date Added: 3/14/2023