As part of the exhibit, you had to get a small I.D card that had a picture of somebody, in which you would insert the card and get the individual’s story. I got a card of a little boy named, Carlo D’Angeli and got most of his story. He was born in Italy and I got an insight of his life before the Holocaust. In his picture he looked happy and full of life. He was no more than five years old when his family went into hiding because Mussolini became dictator of Italy and mad many anti-Jewish laws. I felt like he was mine, like a little brother, which made the whole experience personal and impactful.
I was in the dark and cold rooms most of the time. They had little scenes that had screens educating people of the injustices that were the result of war. The tour started with the beginning; how life was to the people before Hitler came into power. People were in poverty but were happy. They also told the crowd on how Hitler became powerful, and his hated of the Jews. Everyone blamed the Jews for their poverty and misfortune. The tour went into detail of how people were being tricked into going to concentration camps which then came their death.
In the last part of the tour we were put in to a replica of a gas chamber in which it was very cold. Just walking in to the room you got chills and felt scared. The guide told us that feeling that way was normal because we are human beings. She sat us down and started playing episode that went on to depth of some of the peoples stories we got in the beginning. Jose’s little girl’s story came on, in which got both of us in tears. She was one of the many children that got picked out of school and taken to a camp. But in her desk she left a note to God, in which she was asking him to safe her parents, so that she can see them again someday, ad thanking him for being the perfect being. Her story was the saddest of all.
The aura of the museum was very authentic because it was one of a kind experience. I have seen and hear of some stories of the Holocaust. I have seen picture and movies that have tried to give storied of the people that suffered in the hands of the Nazis. And they are very good and impactful storied but are nothing like the experience I had at the Museum of Tolerance.
There I also meet a survivor, Dorothy Greenstein, in which she told us her story. Seeing her and hearing her story, it gave me hope that even though things are in there worst, people don’t lose hope and try and try again.
Born, in Poland in 1930 she was around eight years old when the war broke out. Her real name was Devorah Kirszenbaum, she was the youngest of nine children. Her father was a rabbi and well respected in the Jewish neighborhood they lived in. When the war happened there were laws that took rights away from the Jews. They also had to turn in some of their possessions that they had such as their radios, fur and leather. Her father was optimistic about everything, he soothed her and her siblings telling them that the German soldiers where there to help them, not hurt them. After a couple of moths the family was relocated to the ghettos, in which they were being starved. When she turned ten her father took her out back and told her that she was the only one that could save the family. She was to take some money and sneak out of the ghettos and buy food for the family once a week. It was easy for her because she was light skinned with blue eyes and blond hair, she looked polish, and no one questioned her. She did that for about two year up until the family had to be relocated. In which they did not know at the time that they would be sent to a concentration camp. None the less her father encouraged her and her other three sisters to flee and go into hiding. Out of the four sisters only two survived because they didn’t give up hope. She survived because she was fluent in Polish she manages to change her identity, in which she became Zofia Leszczy’nska. She is now 83 years old and goes by the name Dorothy Greenstein and she goes to different places sharing her story.
It Changed the Way I See the World
In the end of it all we were able to see if our person survived. A month of hiding Carlo, his parents and his baby brother, Missimo, were discovered by members of the Fascist Militia and the German SS and were deported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He was in the train with about 400 other Jews, once their arrival in November 14, 1943 he and his family were sent to the gas chamber, where they were murdered. Two weeks from his death he would have turned five years old. His story among others opened my eyes to the real story of the Holocaust. The hard truth that people were being treated inhumanly. It opened my eyes in being tolerant to those people with different view and those who are different than ours. As well it taught me that if I see or notice an injustice happening not to turn my head but see in what way I am capable to help stop it.
Selina Salazar is a freshman at California State University Northridge. She is pursuing a degree in visual art in which she hopes to help in producing motion pictures.