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RPS Eighth Grade Participates in Virtual Visit With Holocaust Survivor

Eighth Graders at Rutgers Prep were afforded the unique opportunity to participate in a live virtual visit with Susan Warsinger, a survivor of the Holocaust. The presentation included photos and a conversation guided by a representative from the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The assembly was the culmination of the students’ reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night.

Mrs. Warsinger was born in 1929 in western Germany and was the eldest of three siblings. She recalled for the students the increasingly antisemitic prejudice her family and community experienced throughout the 1930s, after the Nazis came to power, and described her personal recollection of the tragic events that led up to and unfolded during Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass.” Her parents, determined to protect their children, were desperate to find a way for them to immigrate to the United States. Mrs. Warsinger described her journey from that point forward, in which she and her brother were smuggled into France, staying first in Paris, and then moving on to Versailles to be temporarily housed in Louis XIV’s palace. They then were moved and offered shelter in a village outside of Vichy before being granted permission to immigrate to the United States and crossed the Pyrenees into Spain. Eventually, they traveled to Portugal where they sailed from Lisbon and landed in New York Harbor in September 1941 and reunited with their parents and youngest brother, who had already made it to the United States and settled in Washington, D.C.

She ended her talk by telling the students how it felt to see the Statue of Liberty as she and her brother arrived in the United States and reminded our students of the importance of standing up for kindness and justice. We are grateful to Ms. Fehl for organizing the opportunity to hear Mrs. Warsinger’s powerful story of survival.