What would it be like if we could talk to the very people we study in our history class?
In Mr. Peter Mysels’ History of the Holocaust class at PA Distance Learning, his students are getting to do just that.
The students read short biographies detailing the lives of four Holocaust survivors, all of which currently live in Pennsylvania, and they each wrote a letter to the survivor whose story impacted them the most.
In their letters, students shared what they learned from the survivor's story and how their words impacted them as young adults. The students also asked questions to these heroes.
One of the survivors, Mr. Judah Samet, resident of Oakland, PA, and survivor of the Bergen-Belsen extermination camp, responded with an opportunity of a lifetime: he asked to come speak in person to the students at PA Distance Learning.
“I am not going to write a letter back to your students. I need to speak to them,” said Mr. Samet. “There are not many people like me anymore and they need to hear these stories from someone who was there."
Mr. Samet’s story is not an easy story to hear, but it must be told and not forgotten. “By age seven,” he recalled, “I had seen more death than life.” But through all of his suffering, he has persevered and survived the greatest human atrocity anyone could experience.
This is exactly the type of opportunity Mr. Mysels seeks for his students.
“Learning can be its most impactful and memorable when it comes through an experience.” said Mr. Mysels. “What memories of your education are the most lasting in your mind? For me, the ones where we were asked to take an active role in our learning shine the brightest.”
PA Distance Learning is thankful to have the opportunity to have Mr. Samet speak at our school and share his personal stories with our students.
“Survivors like Mr. Samet are becoming more and more scarce as years go by and I wanted to make sure that my students had this chance to hear about the Holocaust through the experiences of a living survivor,” said Mr. Mysels.
Mr. Samet noted that he is a strong supporter of cyber education. He is happy that students can learn in an environment that supports them and that is safe. He is looking forward to coming to PA Distance Learning and speaking to the students and staff.
Judah Samet will be speaking on May 3, 2018 from 1:30-3:00 PM. Join us to hear Mr. Samet’s story and ask him questions. All PA Distance students and their families are invited to the school’s office to attend, and there will be a live virtual session held for students and their families across the state.