In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Santa Catalina School students gathered to hear a virtual presentation from a Holocaust survivor who shared the story of his family's experience in France.
Joël Nommick, who was born during the war, described what life was like for his family before and during the Holocaust. His father, a successful businessman, was falsely accused of theft and sent to a number of prisons and concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Meanwhile, his family—which included his mother and two brothers—remained in hiding in their small French village, living in constant danger of discovery and relying on the help of their friends and neighbors to survive. Joël’s father was liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of the war, but despite sending a letter home saying he would see his family soon, he was never heard from again.
After sharing his story, Joël had some parting words for the students. “We can’t tolerate the isolation of people because of who they are and who they represent,” he said. “You are the generation to fight for liberty and happiness. We count on you.”
Joël’s presentation was hosted by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he volunteers. You can read more about his story here.