Holocaust speaker visits East Rowan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

By Kaceyann Robbins and Katie Norton

East Rowan High School

GRANITE QUARRY — Four weeks ago, Wendy Fontenot’s East Rowan English II Honors classes voted to read the novel “Night” by Elie Wiesel. During our study, we learned about the Holocaust from both the novel and research we chose to do on our own. Wiesel taught us many lessons that can be used both now and later in our lives. One of these lessons includes never giving up. Throughout the novel, we saw the strength that is required to keep a hold of oneself in such a horrific situation.

To add enrichment to our study of this novel, Fontenot collaborated with Media Coordinator Kim Shuping to secure an exhibit presented by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust. All classes were invited to view the exhibit in the media center. Furthermore, Fontenot invited a guest speaker — the son of a Holocaust survivor — to come speak with our class.

On Oct. 27, guest speaker Jack Stein, along with his wife Rosemarie, visited East Rowan High School to present the exhibit on the Holocaust. During his presentation, he informed us about the hardships his father, Morris Stein, went through. Before the presentation, we read Morris Stein’s memoir, “Reflections on Hell.”

Morris Stein was very young when he was taken to a concentration camp. He was placed in several, including: Budzyn, Mielec, Wieliczka and Flossenburg. While everyone sat on the edge of their seat, Stein continued with his riveting stories about his father. Though he did not go into explicit detail, he was able to portray the story with such enthusiasm, keeping the interest of many students. As Stein wound down, he gave us the opportunity to ask questions we had generated in class.

One of the questions asked was, “Do you ever try and comprehend what your father went through?” It was a tough question, and Stein wasn’t sure how to answer it, but when he found the right words, he said, “I’m not sure I can answer that fully, but what I can say is, when I look at this picture of my father I see a brave face.”

Stein answered our questions to the best of his ability, and we left with more knowledge about a time in history that we hope will never be repeated. This was truly a great learning experience and this will always be our most memorable class.


Robbins and Norton are 10th grade Honors students at East Rowan High School.