After watching the presentation from the Terezin Music Foundation and Edgar Krasa's moving talk about his experiences at Terezin and Auschwitz, the seventh and eighth graders had an opportunity to write responses to what they had seen and heard. Below, some excerpts:
- I learned that the people in Terezin had a very difficult life and am amazed that they never gave up hope.
- I consider the most important thing I learned to be how long the people in Terezin could withstand the conditions, and how they still had hope enough to make music. I found it amazing that Edgar did not hold a grudge against the people who held him captive.
- I learned to be grateful for the time we live in.
- The symbolism of the painting was most interesting, as I found how amazing the Jewish artists were.
- I learned that we as humans must treat everyone with respect and equally to prevent such an atrocity as the Holocaust.
- I felt amazed and astonished that this really happened, and that people could be like that.
- I learned that at least some of the Jews could find a small happiness in music.
- I learned that the prisoners in Terezin had a difficult life with terrible living conditions, but they didn’t give up hope and did what they could to carry on with their lives.
- I learned to not dislike someone because of the color of their skin or what religion they believe in and not to hold a grudge.
- I was most interested in the part about Victor Ullman and the music he created.
- The whole presentation to me was very powerful, but the two most interesting parts were the music and Edgar’s speech.
- Edgar was by far the most interesting part of the presentation because he was funny and really described a good picture, and what was going on and how he felt.
- I really hope Edgar continues to enjoy his peaceful life now and how I was so lucky to meet him.
- I learned to never give up, and really fight for what you believe in.
- I felt astonished. I was most interested in Edgar’s speech. It was amazing to hear first hand from a Holocaust survivor.
- I felt amazed at what so many people had to go through, and that they still found it in them to make art and music.
- I learned that no matter what people look like, what their skin color is, or what they believe, they are still people, and we should treat everyone with respect. Also that we should not hold grudges. I think it is amazing that Edgar is able to not hold a grudge, and we should all learn from him.
- I felt awed, amazed, and sad at what these people had to go through, and that most people were bystanders.
- I liked it when we saw the slideshow (of the artwork)… If you looked really closely, another aspect appeared of what they were feeling.
- I learned that we are all equal, and should be treated as such.
- I think that it is really great that Edgar gets to tell his story, and I think he should tell his story to someone who will write it down.
- I was most interested in the art that the presenter showed us. It was really interesting to hear and see the ways that the artists convey their meaning.
- Suggestions for how it might have been better? I felt that it was perfect.
- I felt inspired.
- I think the most important thing that I learned from this presentation was definitely to always treat people with respect no matter how different they are from me. I was very moved and determined to be kind to everyone.
1. Edgar Krasa shows students the number that was tattood on his arm in Auschwitz
2.The Hawthorne String Quartet performs pieces by Gideon Klein & Viktor Ulmann
3. Terezin Music Foundation Director Mark Ludwig talks about the arts under the Nazis
Pictured on previous page: Edgar Krasa shows a picture of his wife's badge