Through a multimedia presentation, center Assistant Director Marissa Berman demonstrated the Nazi propaganda machine that became part of daily life, and used the German school system before and during WWII to indoctrinate Germany’s youth.
Children as young as six were legally obligated to participate in the Hitler Youth activities organized by the Nazi party. Berman emphasized the horrors that can result from stereotyping any group.
“Holding an actual armband that had a swastika stitched on it made history very real and not seem that long ago,” said one young member of the youth group.
Another was most struck by a video about a man who saved 640 Jewish children by transporting them from Germany and finding them homes in England. Everyone hoped that they would have the moral courage to protect their fellow man.
In addition to the exhibit about the Holocaust, or “shoah,” the museum has a room dedicated to past and present genocides; from the slaughter of Armenians at the turn of the last century to the killings in Darfur today.
The St. Stephen’s youth were awed by the exhibits and went home feeling blessed to be part of the diverse and wonderful community of Port Washington, Youth Group leader Eva Turel said.