History lesson: MICMS 8th graders tour Holocaust Museum’s Nazi boxcar

— The railroad car sitting on a trailer in the parking lot in front of the Marco Island Charter Middle School doesn’t look extraordinary, noteworthy at a glance only for being much smaller than rolling stock in use in this country. But this boxcar belongs to the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida, and was in use in Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Watching the children troop cheerfully into the boxcar, you couldn’t help wonder if, 70 years ago, some other children had boarded the same conveyance, under very different circumstances. The eighth grade social studies students in Kerri Lampos’ classes got to inspect the boxcar, initially built in 1919 as a cattle car, after studying about the Holocaust and related topics.

“I’m not going to hover over you – it’s kind of a personal experience,” Lampos told the students in the classroom before they headed outside for their close up look. “When you’re in the boxcar, be respectful. This is a somber place. I know I can count on you.”

Before they toured the boxcar, Lampos reviewed the lessons they had learned. The word “genocide” didn’t even exist until after World War II, but was coined to describe the mass killing of a race, and then expanded to other groups, such as homosexuals.

Seeing the train car, which was possibly an accessory to such a monstrous act as rounding up innocent victims and delivering them to forced labor and annihilation, it was hard to conceive of such systematic brutality, let alone wrap one’s head around the idea this may have been the death conveyance for thousands.

“The Holocaust seems so not real,” said eighth grader Ariel Schneider. “It was so horrible – who could do that?” She looked around inside the wooden walls, and said if she were trapped inside, she would have tried to scratch her name, or something, into the sides.

Other kids asked if anyone tried to escape. The windows would have been closed, or blocked with barbed wire, explained Sara Gottwalles, education program manager for the Holocaust Museum. And no, she said, they never close anyone into the car.

“For one thing, the door gets stuck sometimes,” said Gottwalles. “And we don’t know if someone is claustrophobic, or may have had bad experiences.” But mostly, she said, no one living safely in this country, where even if they did get momentarily locked in, should ever think they can comprehend the absolute horror of the victims who were herded, packed into the cars literally like cattle, and sent off into the unknown to captivity, toil and death.

“I am a student of the Holocaust. I can sympathize, but I can never know what it was actually like. God willing, these kids will never have to find out.

“Even the survivors have a hard time understanding each others’ ordeal,” she said, “each one was so different.” Three Holocaust survivors came to MICMS on Wednesday to speak to the students about their experiences under the Nazis. Lampos made the point to her students that the survivors are now all aged, and their class is one of the last that will be able to hear this testimony firsthand from those who lived through it.

The biggest point, said Lampos, is that while we may think of genocide as something out of the past, it is still taking place today. Africa, Cambodia, and even Europe have all recently been the sites of genocide.

After each class went back into the clean, air-conditioned school, the boxcar sat outside in the bright sunlight, not divulging what exactly had taken place inside so many decades ago.

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Comments » 30

NathanielWenger writes:

Wengerocracy is a form of government where the people watch the ruler entirely amongst their reign. Wengerocracy prevents the leader of a country from covering up unlawful behavior going on.

Why aren't holocaust survivors teaching the importance to instate wengerocracy in Germany? The holocaust happened. What are you waiting to happen in Germany before you teach the importance to instate wengerocracy in Germany?

What are you waiting to happen in Sudan before you teach the importance to instate wengerocracy in Sudan?

After going through a genocide, how can you not do everything possible to prevent the next genocide? Let me make myself clear I am trying to prevent genocide from ever occurring again in every single country in the world.

At what cost does keeping wengerocracy quiet come at?

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

And what was the much too loved "Democratic" President Roosevelt doing all this time?

Mayor_McCheese writes:

Klaus,

Thank you for your post. So much of this history risks being lost. We must never forget what happened.

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

If we let Iran erase the history books, as they have been doing, those that never read/learn the truth will never have something to forget.

Talking the talk and not doing the walk will not suffice, now or ever. Talk is cheap.

OldMarcoMan writes:

The Eagle takes comments on this and they shut down the Comment Function on Obamba ?
Worst NewsPaper EVER !!!!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,
You yourself have been shut down when you you used the name Klabauterman. Should I pull up the comments you made of the newspaper when that was happening? Now that others have been shut down you claim to be on the newspapers side? Maybe you should get your position straight before you write you next blog. Maybe you should write a book called the "Memoirs of an Internet Troll".

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gentlemen, It is a shame that a topic such as the one above should digress to name calling.

Mr. Klaus your points of information above show a glimpse of intellectual ability, why spoil it with such childish behavior?

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very interesting you deny knowing who Klabautermann is or was but yet you spelled his name with 2 ns when I used only one n. Sounds very much like "I did not have sex, with that woman" quoted by a Democratic President.

I guess personal denial and blaming others for your/their own screw ups is just part of the "real democratic" strategy and way of life.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

For those who are new to this blog site. The original Klabautermann was, in fact, spelled with 2 ns. He was also removed by this newspaper for posting rather inappropriate blogs.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Klaus,

Just another diversion from the facts, which you are quite familiar with.

Keep blaming others for your own misfortune and vote for the absolutely worst president this country has ever seen. Maybe start a glee club so the young children can sing his praises and bus the freeloaders so that they can vote for him, but don't forget the Black Panthers doing their job of turning away voters who would be voting for another political Party.

Somehow I see the shadow of Nazi Germany relected in these above actions.

This sounds better and better.
"Go Mitt Romney Go"

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

Ocram and Klaus,

Ocram, you are making a good point and Klaus is denying what is becoming more and more obvious as time goes on. Klaus, I was able to check back regarding the comments Ocram made and was able to find where Klabautermann was taken off these blogs, but his comments and responses to his comments were left on other's blogs. So before you attempt to hand off or deny your earlier actions you should do a bit of research yourself. Quite, frankly, some of your recent comments were word for word the same as Klabautermann's and also of another blogger calling herself Marianne something.

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

WOW.....How did you ever come to your conclusion? You are the one insulting ALL AMERICANS not only the black ones but the white ones, the red one and all those in between, all of which fought in wars and gave their lives. Your own people, for which you have consistantly used the names of stood by and near concentration camps and ignored what was going on. Claiming later that they did not "know"! Talking about someone that doesn't understand. Look into your own mirror.

Ocram is correct in posting that your kind live off of the blaming of others for your own inadequacies.

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

Let me get another fact straight. Those poor souls, but honorable men, did not fight in WWII to give the "innocent" Germans their freedom. They fought in WWII to kill as many of those followers of Hitler as they could and help protect the rest of the world from Naziism. You may try to re-write history but those are the facts. "Fought for German's Freedom" what a joke. Tell that to the 50 million people who died because of what Germany was attempting to do. They wanted to take over the world or did you miss that bit of historical fact.

Klaus, Klabautermann or whatever you wish to call yourself this month.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

zookeeper,

This guy, Klaus, is really off his rocker. He is siding with Black Panthers and saying that you said all black people. What the Black Panthers did was no different than what the S.S. started with.(Notice Klaus, that I said started with, nothing else). Leave it to the far lefties to turn something you said into something completely different so that he could argue the point in order to make themselves appear intelligent. What you said about the Black Panthers attempting to scare people away from voting is absolutely true and has been documented many times. Notice that Klaus/Klabs turned that into all blacks all by his little self and then argued against it using "big words" such as polemic. Both you and Black people deserve an apology from him for bringing them in and for his attempt at accusing you of that.

Notice that, as always, when he is presented a fact to discuss it turns into an attack on person stating the fact.

Were not concentration camps surrounded by people who ignored what was going on inside them? Did they not wonder why train loads of people were brought in and very few came out? Did they not wonder why the ovens were going so long day in and day out and what about the obvious smell from the smoke?

This is what the children who visited should have also learned. I doubt if K/K ever went into one of those rail cars. I did, in D.C. and witnessed the shoes, the suitcases and clothing that those so called, innocent Germans shared in stealing. I saw the lampshades made of human skin, I saw the experiments that were conducted on truly innocents. I saw that piles of emaciated bodies and bones who did not make it to the ovens.

I wonder how many innocent Germans there were that let this all happen. I know that there were some, because I have met and spoke with them, but it surely surprises me how many denied knowing what was happening in their own back yards.

Take a look at the movies that were taken from the cattle cars of the children standing along the tracks, giving the sign of the throat being cut at the people in the rail cars. Where did the little children get the idea that that is what is going to happen to those people?

Also good point regarding the U.S. soldiers who gave of themeselves. How dare he say that they gave, so dearly, of themselves to free the "German people". When it was the vast majority of the German people who pledged that they would die for Hitler in his attempt to take over Europe, Russia, Africa and who know where else.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Zookeeper,

Please excuse an error that I posted. I was just informed by my lovely wife, that there was no lamp shade photo at the museum. What was thought to be an lampshade made of human skin was later proven to be of lamb or goat skin, but there were in fact photos of pieces human skin with tattoos. Sorry for mis-statement of facts.

Ruger writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Interesting, you lean hard left... yet you are sympathetic to the plight of the Jews. Are you one of the Jews who are opposed to Israel's existence?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-hat...

Obama bypasses Congress, funds Palestinian Authority

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-signs-wai...

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

If you hate Americans so much to call us all s-----, ignorant why don't you move back to Poland or wherever you socialistic heritage came from. I am sure that you can find someone there who thinks highly of your opinions and you can carry on your conversation with them.

Yes, I have loved America every day of my adult life. I am proud to be an American and I will not make any apologies to anyone, anywhere for being an American. I will vote where I wish to vote and how I wish to vote and will say anything I wish about anyone who prevents me or anyone else from doing so.

GO MITT ROMNEY GO!!!!!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Klaus,

Couldn't keep a promise for long, could you? Typical of left wing extremists use glowing rhetoric to promise you anything but end up giving you nothing but excuses.

GO, MITT ROMNEY GO!

Mayor_McCheese writes:

Quit all of the name calling. This is an issue that I think all of us can agree with. It has NOTHING to do with Obama or Romney or current US politics. There are plenty of stones that could be cast here. Obama and Rev. Wright, Romney and his racist Mormonism (not current, but very recent).

The fact is that neither of these men would support Nazi policies or anything close to resembling them so why even bring them up in this discussion?

Klaus raises an important point recognizing that there were Americans that did support Nazi policies or at least appeasement of the Nazis (even some American heros like Chas. Lindburg and Henry Ford) and that we should not forget that there were some unclean hands - even in the US and in other Western democracies - which is true.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

I disagree with your assessment that the above discussion has nothing to do with Obama. The man sat for 20 years in a church where Rev. Wright spewed hatred towards white people, Jews and whoever else he in his mind was the reason for blacks being where they are.

Hitler did the same and was "accepted" by his followers which in turn led to the holocaust. I am not saying that a holocaust will again occur, but the Obama's did nothing to stop or remove themselves from Wright's rhetoric.

Chas. Lindburg and Henry Ford had unclean hands, too, but they were not holding the office of President of the United States.

No, never once did I hear that Obama or his wife stood up to Rev. Wright. Nor have I been able to read the thesis that either did for their college degrees. Which have been hidden from public view, WHY?

No McCheese, I think that Obama's hands are a lot dirtier than one may wish to believe and that is the reason that it should be discussed along with this issue so that we do not make the same mistake of electing him again.

Mayor_McCheese writes:

in response to Ocram:

I disagree with your assessment that the above discussion has nothing to do with Obama. The man sat for 20 years in a church where Rev. Wright spewed hatred towards white people, Jews and whoever else he in his mind was the reason for blacks being where they are.

Hitler did the same and was "accepted" by his followers which in turn led to the holocaust. I am not saying that a holocaust will again occur, but the Obama's did nothing to stop or remove themselves from Wright's rhetoric.

Chas. Lindburg and Henry Ford had unclean hands, too, but they were not holding the office of President of the United States.

No, never once did I hear that Obama or his wife stood up to Rev. Wright. Nor have I been able to read the thesis that either did for their college degrees. Which have been hidden from public view, WHY?

No McCheese, I think that Obama's hands are a lot dirtier than one may wish to believe and that is the reason that it should be discussed along with this issue so that we do not make the same mistake of electing him again.

How come you ignore Romney's Mormonism? It is a religion that until 1978 (when Mitt was very active - living the complete Mormon lifestyle, not just attending the church) was officially racist - considered black people to be unclean and unable to access the full rights of salvation as white Mormons. This is a guy who before 1978 went on his Mormon mission and donated 10% or his considerable income to this racist entity.

I don't know whether Mitt is still a racist or not, but if I were considering supporting the man, I would not ignore this aspect of his personal story. I brought up Rev. Wright and the Mormon thing in order to be even-handed in my comment.

If I were an Obama supporter, I would point out that Obama may have gone to Wright's church as a matter of political pragmatism in South Chicago politics (which I agree is troubling), but in Romney's case, he didn't merely attend the church on an occasional Sunday morning, he has really devoted his life to Mormon theology (at least as troubling, if not more so in my opinion).

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Mc Cheese,

Fully understandable presentation and may the better man for this country win the next presidential election.

Mayor_McCheese writes:

in response to Ocram:

Mc Cheese,

Fully understandable presentation and may the better man for this country win the next presidential election.

We'll see how it goes. Nothing is perfect. The country was not created in 4 years and it won't be destroyed in 4 years either - regardless of who the next president is.

I enjoy the respectful debate. It benefits everyone to be open minded on both sides. Who ever you support, you should be aware of their good and bad sides. It is the people who fail to see both sides of an issue that scare me.

Have a good day.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Go find a book to write. You are getting boring.

happy34145 writes:

in response to Ocram:

Very interesting you deny knowing who Klabautermann is or was but yet you spelled his name with 2 ns when I used only one n. Sounds very much like "I did not have sex, with that woman" quoted by a Democratic President.

I guess personal denial and blaming others for your/their own screw ups is just part of the "real democratic" strategy and way of life.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Like father, like son!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I really wonder how many American soldiers are going to be killed over that mindless, Democratic campaign slogan. What sort of pathetic individual thought to put that out so that the enemy can be enraged by it.
Klaus do you care, obviously not?

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

Ocram, Why don't you give up on talking logic to Klaus. He does not have the desire to listen and learn by it. I too, thought that about that slogan in the same way. It is something that would appear on bus stop bathroom wall written by a 15 year old and definitly not the Vice President of the U.S. Maybe someone could convince Klaus to place it on a sign which he could proudly dislplay on the streets of Afghanistan.

Just feel sorry for him, and don't waste your time.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Now, maybe, the real why, Obama went after Bin Laden. For this I don't blame him, but for a campaign logo???

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/...

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

And just think this was MSNBC News. I wonder what them so long to wake up.

Obama actually found someone in congress who was less able to do the job than he was/is and the world knows that and are laughing at those of us who think otherwise.

By the way Klaus when did you learn how to multiply, it must have been one heck of a revelation?

Who knows "President I,...I,...I,"....could be very proud of you, but since you do not look like a person that could have been his son, I doubt it.

"ONE TERM BARRY"

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