A Day of Remembrance

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Eighth-grade students at Islip Middle School continued the almost-20-year tradition of setting aside a day in May to pay respects to the lives lost during World War II through Holocaust Remembrance Day, organized by social studies teachers Michael Argenziano and Christine Cabanas.

Students viewed the documentary “Paperclips,” welcomed Holocaust survivor Werner Reich and were awed by a live performance of “From the Fires: Voices of the Holocaust” by Theatre Three Productions, which was provided by the IMS PTA.

During his presentation, Mr. Reich spoke of the atrocities of World War II and used the lessons of the Holocaust to discuss fighting intolerance and bullying. He shared his experiences during World War II, including his emigration from Germany to Yugoslavia, two years spent in hiding, two years in the concentration camps of Theresienstadt, Birkenau and Auschwitz, and a death march to Mauthausen.

“Mr. Reich has a really great message for the kids and relates it to modern day,” said Mr. Argenziano. “He makes the students think. His message doesn’t just talk about the bad people, but how the good people did nothing.” Mrs. Cabanas added, “For the kids, it’s great. The message of being tolerant of others is very important.”