Illinois Holocaust Museum trains survivors’ descendants to share stories, to ensure we ‘Never Forget’

SKOKIE, Ill. (CBS) — Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day – a day promised to “Never Forget” the mass murder of millions carried out by the Nazis.

With the remaining Holocaust survivors growing older, what will Holocaust education look like in 10 years? As CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman reported Thursday night, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has launched a project to keep the memories alive.

It’s called 3 G’s, and it means children and grandchildren of survivors will take up the responsibility of bearing witness to the Holocaust and sharing it.  It is happening at the museum – with families being trained to learn and tell survivors’ stories.

At the museum, Chicago resident Fritzie Fritzshall tells her story of surviving Auschwitz – a slave labor camp.

But Fritzshall died in 2021 at the age of 91. She appears in the form of an interactive hologram, where you can continue to ask her questions.

At the Illinois Holocaust Museum, her story lives on.

“It’s the intention of the survivors to educate – not about the atrocities, but about their stories – and to show what they went through, and to hope that you learn and are inspired to be a better upstander within your community,” said museum associate director of development Allie Block.

Block toured Perlman around the museum, where every artifact comes from a Midwest Holocaust survivor.

Meanwhile, a virtual-reality experience takes visitors to concentration camps – guided by survivors who lived through them.

Perlman asked Kelly Szany, vice president of education and exhibitions at the museum, what the next generation can do given that we won’t have Holocaust survivors to talk firsthand about it forever.

“Ask the questions of family members that we know not only were in the Holocaust, but in any major historical event,” Szany said.

Szany says the museum is now training descendants of survivors to share stories – fulfilling the promise to “Never Forget,” and also, “Never Again.”

It is a matter more pressing now, as the number of antisemitic incidents across the state has increased 15 percent over the past year.

Szany says this is the kind of history we can never repeat.

“I think what education can allow us to do is understand that the Holocaust is one of the ultimate examples when we see unchecked hatred and bigotry run amok,” she said.

The latest examples of an antisemitic act were less than 10 miles away from the Illinois Holocaust Museum. In Highland Park, and in Glencoe, neighbors found antisemitic flyers containing hate speech in multiple driveways.

The City of Highland Park condemned the acts and vowed to take action, and said police and the FBI have been notified and are investigating.

The City of Highland Park is aware that members of our community, along with other communities throughout the North…

Posted by City of Highland Park, Illinois – Government on Thursday, April 28, 2022

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