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Never Forget

Maclay Brought Michael Igel to Speak with the Upper School About Holocaust Remembrance Day


Photo Courtesy of Blair Bayliss/Maclay Andalusian

January 27. On this date 79 years ago, the Jewish people, along with others who did not fit the Nazi “norm,” were liberated from the concentration camps that the Nazis created. Six million Jews were killed in these concentration camps and so, the United States takes Jan. 27 to remember everyone who was a part of the Holocaust. Beyond this, Jan. 27 is a reminder and remembrance to never create another Holocaust.


To honor Holocaust remembrance day (HRD), Maclay brings a Holocaust survivor each year to talk to the upper school about their story and what they went through during the Holocaust. This year, the upper school spoke with Michael Igel who is the grandson of three Holocaust Survivors. 


“Learning about the Holocaust is important,” senior Mateo Silberman said. “By learning about our past we can build a better future.”


During Igel’s presentation, he showed the students letters and pictures his extended family took and wrote during the years of the Holocaust. He also shared the tragic sacrifices his family had to make for them to all survive and move to America.


Even though this is a sad and hard subject to discuss, Igel expressed the idea that it is extremely important to spread the Holocaust survivors stories. On top of this, he also showed students the positives he has taken from the stories he was told and he explained how to educate the younger generations of the Holocaust. 


“The further we get away from the Holocaust, the fewer survivors we have,” teacher Lauren Fantle said. “So we need to not let the Holocaust disappear with the survivor stories. We want to never let that happen again so we need to not get far away time wise.”


The assembly ended with questions from the students that Igel was able to answer. Overall, Igel helped educate the Maclay upper school student body of the Holocaust and, more importantly, how to educate other generations about it as well.


“It’s [HRD] important so that we never forget,” freshman Peter Fernandez said. “Having the speaker really helped me understand what happened during the Holocaust.”

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Andy Poll

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