Holocaust Survivor to Speak to Sophomore English Classes on Nov. 28


Students stand with Holocaust survivor Rachel Miller after her presentation in 2016. She will speak to sophomore English classes again on Nov. 28. (photo submitted)

By Sarah Zimmerman

We have to pay attention to what we are doing in our communities and to one another and to ourselves.

— Diane Fingers

After surviving her nightmare-like childhood, Holocaust survivor Rachel Miller will speak about her unspeakable childhood and incredible journeys to sophomore English classes during sixth and seventh hour on Nov. 28.

“I’m looking forward to it, because I’ve never heard a speaker talk about it before that was actually [alive] during the Holocaust,” sophomore Heaven-Lee Nichols said. “Whereas, I’ve read plenty of books, so I have a good amount of knowledge on it, so it’d be pretty cool to actually hear what she went through. With a speaker, it’s all emotion and we get the perspective as if we were there.”

As a hidden child of the Holocaust, Miller escaped the concentration camps. However, while she reached the United States, most of her family was sent to concentration camps. During her presentation, she will tell not only her story, but also those of some of her family members for half of the presentation. She also leaves time for questions and pictures, often leaving students who attend with a lasting impression.


“I liked it because even though it was a lot of students, it was still kind of personal, because it was just her up there and we were just listening to her talk,” junior Karen Pete said. “It really makes you think and be grateful for what you have. It’s a good experience.”

Miller has been invited to speak to the classes to not only keep her story alive, but also to complement the sophomore students classwork as they read Night by Elie Wiesel, a story describing Wiesel’s experiences going through concentration camps with his father toward the end of World War II.

“She makes history very real to them,” English teacher Diane Fingers said. “She brings it off the page of the book, out of the textbook, out of the novel and she makes it real to them.”

Not only does Miller’s story remind students to remember the Holocaust, but according to Fingers, her message also shines light on what everyone should do for the future.

“She relates what’s going on to right now,” Fingers said. “She’ll probably bring up something that’s in the news and happening in our community right now, and she’ll relate it to them and what happened to her and she’ll connect it all. We have to learn from history otherwise we are doomed to repeat it. We have to pay attention to what we are doing in our communities and to one another and to ourselves.”