Remarks from Gutterman Educators - Ilisa Lieberman

Ilisa Lieberman


Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Architect, Peter Eisenman, who created the Holocaust memorial in Germany expressed that - in his monument - there is no goal... "an individual's experience grants no further understanding, since understanding of this harrowing event in history is impossible." This year marks 75 years from the end of the Holocaust.  During an interview for the City of Pembroke Pines Holocaust education series, Holocaust survivor Isaac Kraicer shared a moment in time when his family, friends, neighbors, and strangers gave him all that they had - food and money - prior to his escape of the ghetto.  Though young Kraicer pleaded with them to try to run away with him - he's told 'no...' and they tell him to never forget them - to go on and tell their stories for them.  In Holocaust education we talk about light in the darkness- bright moments in time that we show full force the power of humanity over evil.  Through Holocaust and social justice education, now 75 years later - while we will never be able to understand decisions that were made in dark and desperate times, we can and are continuing to uphold the wishes of those that were lost - to be remembered.  To me the recipients of the Gutterman Annual Educator Award for Holocaust Education are beacons of shining light.  As Holocaust survivor, researcher and educator, Henry Friedlander believes that it is not enough for educators to be well meaning when they teach about genocide.  They must also know the subject matter well.  I stand with the other recipients knowing that we will continue to spread light on this dark time, knowing that we are not just committed - but highly knowledgeable in the subject matter, and we will continue to share the stories of those that were lost so that we can live in a future that will not allow history to repeat itself. 

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