Pine River students are dedicating performances and projects to the Holocaust for their annual project fair. Each eigth grader is required to research a topic of their choice that has to do with the Holocaust, Anne Frank, or the 1930’s. Students each create a trifold board displaying their topic and design a physical project.
English teacher Lynn Wangberg, who started the Holocaust project fair eight years ago, wanted to give her students a true understanding of life in the 1930’s and 40’s. Wangberg said, “When I started it, it all came about because I found that when I taught Anne Frank for many years the kids didn’t really understand why Anne Frank and her family, because they were Jewish would be in an attic for two years.
Students can choose from a wide variety of topics. This years project fair included projects focusing on food, clothes, people, and events. Wangberg continues to be amazed by the talent of her students and their attention to detail.
This year’s fair was special because of the violin performance that was added to the program. The owner of the violin’s mother traded two chickens for it, and then gave it to his father. He says that the violin playing allows him to keep the memory of his ancestors alive.
The presentation also included a performance by the school choir, who sang the Hannukah song and a song that the prisoners actually sang on the way to the death camp.
Wangberg hopes the experience will keep history from being repeated. “I want them to take away from it the injustice and the horror of the Holocaust, but also to take what they can do to make a better today,” she says.