My Experience with Public History

One of the best teachers I had in elementary school was my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Schmitt. His primary area of expertise was history, and the one thing that he emphasized throughout the year was our understanding of the Holocaust during World War II. He was from Germany and felt particularly strongly that we understood the things that happened by creating activities that pitted us as certain victims of the Holocaust and teaching from the Diary of Anne Frank. At the end of the year, he invited Ruth Greuner, a Holocaust survivor who’s autobiography we read, to speak and have dinner with all of us, which was an amazing experience that every one of us, even as eleven and twelve year olds, understood the depth of.

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