A Bay City Junior High language arts teacher took a trip of a lifetime this summer as a participant in the Holocaust studies program sponsored by the Jewish Labor Committee. Elizabeth Moreno, who has taught a unit on the Holocaust in her classes for the last 12 years, was sponsored by Houston Area Holocaust survivors and traveled to Poland to study the Holocaust by visiting the camps in the Warsaw-Krakow region. The group, which consisted of 32 teachers from throughout the nation, spent time at Auschwitz One and Auschwitz Birkenau, as well as Majdanek and Plascow, the camp where Schindler’s Jews lived. They also toured the factory where Schindler’s Jews worked, thereby escaping extermination. One of the things that made a big impact on Mrs. Moreno was Majdanek, where 18,000 Jews were shot in one day and then cremated. A huge dome covers their ashes in order to remind future generations of the atrocities.
The group was supposed to have gone on to Israel, but the fighting there started two days before they were to leave Poland. Although she was disappointed in having to cut her trip ten days short, she is hopeful that the group might be able to take the second phase of their tour next summer. In the meantime, she has pictures on her walls so students can visualize some of the sights she saw and many books and postcards to share with them as well. She and her fellow eighth grade teachers plan to teach a unit on the Holocaust and World War II in the spring semester.