Today Tour for Humanity journeyed north to Orillia to a Catholic Secondary School for a full day of Global Perspectives workshops. There were 5 workshops on the bus, some of which were comprised of multiple classes; students were in Grades 10-12. All of the students were full of questions and very interested in the material.The school's administrative staff was also very interested in both the bus and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center's (FSWC) programming.
There were some very interesting questions from students, including one that FSWC Educator Daniella had never heard before. A student in Grade 11 World Religions class wanted to know what kind of an impact the deaths of the 6 million Jewish people who were killed in the Holocaust made on the Jewish population in the world. Essentially, what she was asking was how big the population was today and how big the loss was. Daniella explained that the world's Jewish population today was approximately 13 million - and that in Europe prior to the Holocaust there had been 9 million Jews - so 6 million was a very significant number. Before Daniella could add anything further, she even added "plus those 6 million would have reproduced and had families." Daniella agreed and said that it was impossible for us to know exactly how big the loss was. Daniella tied this question into a discussion of the victims and all the possible advances in health, science and culture that could have been lost.
With another class Daniella spent some time discussing the Nazi rise to power. One student wanted to know why the Jewish people did not fight back. This is a question that comes up fairly often, and Daniella explained to the group that Germany's Jewish population felt safe and assimilated in Germany. It was their country and they never expected things to go the way they did. By the time someone suspected that things were bad, it was almost impossible to get out. Daniella discussed the Nuremberg Laws and how the rights and freedoms were stripped away little by little until there was nothing left.