Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center Speakers Bureau Members Recount Holocaust Experiences

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Two members of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center's (HHREC) Speakers Bureau recently shared their experiences of the Holocaust with high school students from seven states in the U.S. as well as students from Alberta, Canada.

Two members of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center's (HHREC) Speakers Bureau recently shared their experiences of the Holocaust with high school students from seven states in the U.S. as well as students from Alberta, Canada.

As part of their human rights curricula, students at Eastchester High School and schools in Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey and South Carolina, heard first-hand experiences of the Holocaust by participating in a unique, international video conference, which took place at Eastchester High School. The speakers shared their perspectives on the Holocaust and its relationship to the human spirit and human rights issues today. After their presentations, they fielded questions from conference participants.

Sel Hubert, an HHREC Speaker's Bureau member, experienced Kristallnacht when the Nazis burned synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes and businesses and made the first mass arrests of Jewish men and boys - including his father who was sent to Dachau concentration camp. The Kristallnacht pogrom is widely regarded as the beginning of the Holocaust.

Ed Lessing, also an HHREC Speakers Bureau member, was born in Holland, and went into hiding for three years after his family dispersed. Posing as a Christian stable boy, he hid on isolated Dutch farms. Lessing was a member of a Dutch Resistance group that was attacked by the SS in December 1943.

"It is imperative that younger generations learn about the Holocaust, as the number of survivors who can share first-hand experiences is diminishing. It is our hope that the lessons that the students learn will enable them to see that every person deserves basic human rights, said Donna Cohen, HHREC's Executive Director.

Andrew Cahn, Regional Museum Educator for United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and an HHREC volunteer, served as moderator.

The Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center is located at 2900 Purchase Street, Purchase, New York 10577. For further information, please call 914.696.0738, e-mail hhrec@bestweb.net, or visit http://www.holocausteducationctr.org.

About the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC): The Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center is an interfaith, not-for-profit organization serving Westchester, Fairfield and Putnam counties to encourage and enhance teaching and learning about the Holocaust and its human rights lessons for today. Its members encourage students to speak up and act against all forms of bigotry and prejudice.

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