Holocaust survivor inspires Winamac Community High School students
“In school, we learn about the Holocaust and what happened, but it is truly different hearing from someone who was actually there,” commented junior Carson Bennett concerning a field trip held Friday, Sept. 6, to attend a seminar held by Holocaust survivor Mr. Frank Grunwald.
This field trip allowed students to listen to, visit with, and learn from a survivor of Auschwitz whose musical abilities kept him alive through the Holocaust. Students enrolled in United States History classes, as well as the fall play cast of “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank,” traveled to Ancilla Domini College, of Donaldson, and began their day with a documentary titled, “They Played For Their Lives,” chronicling the lives of select musicians who performed at concentration camps throughout Europe.
It examined the role that music played in the tragedy of the Holocaust. Grunwald, 86, then performed three musical selections of varying styles on his accordion. After that session, WCHS students attended an outdoor question and answer session with Grunwald in which they had the opportunity for over an hour to ask direct questions to him, take photographs, and contribute to an art mural commemorating the occasion.
During the question and answer session, Grunwald candidly and graciously responded to a variety of questions from the 400-plus students in attendance from area schools and addressed difficult topics about his experiences including the loss of his brother and mother.