Dozens at Keith Country Day School listened to a Holocaust survivor recount his childhood during World War II.
“I had to walk with a big sign, ‘Jew’,” said Holocaust survivor George Mueller.
Mueller came as part of Madilyn Reid’s senior project, the Keith Country Day School senior picked the topic because it hits close to home.
“Both of my grandmas have survived,” said Reid. “It’s a big part of who I am and my Jewish identity.”
Mueller says he and his family were forced out of their home in Germany and made to live in a Juden Haus, a Jew House.
Some memories are still difficult for Mueller to think about.
“Saying goodbye to my mother at the train and never seeing her again.” said Mueller. “Seeing my father in such a terrible condition, what they did to him.”
Madilyn wanted to remind her classmates about the importance of learning history.
“It’s kind of intimidating to step up and say this is something we need to talk about,” said Reid. “[To say] this is what I’m going to do, and I’m going to spend my senior project, my final stand at Keith, doing this for my classmates.
Mueller says as long as students are willing to listen, he’ll share his story.
“That’s the only way you can survive,” said Mueller. “If you don’t do that, you have to. You can’t dwell on the bad, you’d go crazy.”
“Although it’s hard, it’s something we need to talk about to learn to never let it happen again,” said Reid.
Madilyn has also set up a GoFundNe page to support the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, she already has surpassed her goal to raise $1,200.