The Museum of Tolerance teaches sophomores the importance of endurance


Olivia Easterbook

The Museum of Tolerance illustrates how important the meaning of tolerance is in society. Aside from the Holocaust exhibits, the museum discusses the debated topics of bullying, injustice, and the prejudice views of our community.

The past four years, CHS students have been able to visit and admire the Tolerance museum at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, to learn from the “Teaching Tolerance” program. Students experience inviting one-on-one exhibits which discuss the topics of bullying, civil rights, social engagement, responsibility and the Holocaust. This opportunity is made possible by the Leichtag Family who have granted visits for the entire tenth grade class, which often exceeds 800 students a year.

“Mr. Lord has been running this for years and students have always been benefited,” history teacher Mr. Greene said. “These visits should stress students about the Holocaust and its affects, as well as the meaning of endurance.”

Many students have attended the museum and all have seen and understand the meaning of tolerance for our society through the view of the Holocaust.

“It was a very dramatic experience,” sophomore Katie Chase said.”There were so many sad stories of people who had to go through the Holocaust and others who didn’t even make it.”

Through the long gas chambers, photographs and people’s accounts of the Holocaust, students saw how this event affected lives and history.

“It gave me a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and what the people had to go through,” sophomore Phoebe Kimm said.

Students learned more about current topics that are heavily debated and how it affected the past. The goal behind this is to inspire change for the current and future generation to come.

“It taught me how much intolerance there is in the world and how we are hidden from what really goes on,” sophomore Grant Holve said. “It was a realization of what really took place during the Holocaust and the genocides occurring in today’s society.”

Through the museum, the trip showed people how to treat others equally and stop the indifference.

“The museum expanded my knowledge and thoughts on already widely debated topics: prejudice, discrimination and the Holocaust,” sophomore Jessica Baze said. “By traveling through the years, the different instances where this cultivated hate motivated people to hurt and kill one another. I realized how widespread prejudice still is and now how every single voice makes a difference in the struggle against it.”

One tour guide, Norma Berneman, had lost 39 members of her family in the Holocaust, with only her parents surviving. Through her experiences with the Holocaust and frequently volunteering at the museum, she believes she knows the true meaning of tolerance and how to stop injustice.

“Each and everyone of you should do community service to get to know your community and focus on yourself,” Berneman said. “Treat others the way you want to be treated, then our world will be free.”