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Helping Students Understand History

Family of Holocaust survivor spends time with Seneca students telling his father’s story of survival

Jeff Zeiger with picture of his father Shelley Zeiger and neighbor Anton Suchinski telling his family’s story of survival

To help the students of Seneca High School connect history with the people who lived through it, “Literature of the Holocaust” teacher Sean Cassel connected with the Director of The Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center, Helen Kirschbaum, to have survivors and their families come in to discuss their lives and share their stories.

On December 6, 2017, Jeff Zeiger shared his family’s story of survival during the Holocaust. Jeff’s father, Shelley Zeiger, and his grandparents were saved by their neighbor Anton Suchinski, who risked his life to save them. The story, which included courage, resiliency, and human kinship, showed the students the strength of the human spirit and how important it is to care for others during trying times.

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Zeiger began sharing his family’s survival story after his father passed away to continue to educate others. Junior Laura Gibbs said, “I think it’s a really unique opportunity we get when a survivor or their families come in. Not only are we one of the last generations to be able to speak to Holocaust survivors, but we get the chance to speak to remarkable people who showed courage.”

Cassel stated, “Having the survivors and their families come in to talk about their experiences during the Holocaust gives our students a chance to connect with the curriculum in a way that books simply cannot do alone. We are really grateful to have these opportunities, and I want to thank The Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center for providing us with these opportunities.”

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