On Friday we had some very special guests at our school who told their experience with surviving the Holocaust. Our main guest was Simon Jeruchim, who wrote the book Hidden in France. He told us about how his family was involved in the round-up of French Jews, known as the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup . He described his time “hiding” in the French countryside until the liberation, and finally being reunited with his siblings (both parents were killed in labor/concentration camps) in Brooklyn. He spoke about his vivid memories of that early time in his life and later about how he enlisted in the US Navy & fought in the Korean War.
He also spoke about how we need to respect every culture and end racism, as it only brings about devastation. Also,I appreciated how he tied in our schools theme to End Bullying, and he related how the Holocaust was in deed an extreme form of bullying.
Mr. Jeruchim is also a notable artist. He is known for his watercolors that he created while in hiding, which depicted his experience during the Holocaust, as well as a glimpse into his imagination. He continued to paint throughout his life, and I’m sure it was an outlet for all the emotion over losing most of his family & being alone for so many years with no communication about how the war was progressing. His works are in a permanent exhibit displayed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Check out this website to learn more about Simon and other survivors who were young children during this devastating time in history…known as the “Hidden Children of the Holocaust”
For more information about the Holocaust, sure to check out my previous post about Holocaust Remembrance Day , with interactive timelines, maps, & an interactive tour of Anne Frank’s Secret Annex