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Youth hoped to connect with Holocaust stories

Students in Crooked Creek will get to see the Holocaust through the eyes of a 12-year-old. This month, Ridgevalley school will host the travelling Anne Frank exhibit on loan from the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam. Principal Penny Rose says the exhibit fits in nicely with their current curriculum, especially for the younger students.

“It’s absolutely an authentic learning experience. Our younger students can make personal connections to the writings of a 12-year-old girl. It’s an opportunity to explore empathy and introduce our younger students to significant events and world history again from the perspective of a young girl around their age.”

The exhibit has been at Ridgevalley since the beginning of the month and was brought there with the help of the Debolt and District Pioneer Museum and Veterans Affairs Canada. It features pieces from Frank’s diary and pictures from her life. While it’s in town, Holocaust survivor Dr. Eva Olssen will also speak to the public at both Ridgevalley on February 21st and Isabel Campbell Public School in Grande Prairie on the 14th.

On May 15th, 1944, Olssen and her family were taken away in boxcars to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. She now goes around sharing her experiences there with others. Rose has seen Olssen speak before and says she’s an inspiration.

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“Dr. Olssen has such a powerful presentation, being able to stand and speak from her own personal experience. I have attended her presentation in the past… As she shares her experiences from surviving the Holocaust she uses her own experiences to illustrate the power that hate has.”

The exhibit will next be open to the public February 14th and 21st from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. On the 21st, Olssen will speak to the public from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Her speech at Isabel Campbell will be from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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