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Holocaust survivor speaks at MRMS

Ms. Chenkin listens to a question from a student.

Suly Chenkin has been told she is the youngest survivor of the Kovno ghetto.  When Germans invaded Lithuania in 1941, one-year-old Suly, her family, and 40,000 other Jews were herded behind barbed wire fences into the Jewish ghetto of Kovno.  Of those 40,000, only 2,000 survived.  Suly told her audience of Marvin Ridge Middle School students, "It is a miracle I am here."  She believes it is her responsibility as a survivor to tell her story to younger generations while teaching a lesson of compassion and kindness.

To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, Ms. Chenkin spoke to our sixth grade students who study WWII as part of their grade-level curriculum. At the end of her presentation, she invited questions from students.  When asked if she felt hatred toward her oppressors, she replied that she did not.  "We all have a choice and I choose to remember the good."  Ms. Chenkin said she believes the experience actually made her a better person.  Her advice to students is this, "Never be indifferent to others.  Make music.  Get involved.  Your smallest gesture can change the world."

Written by: Brita Mann
Posted: Apr 23, 2010 by Brita Mann

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