Experiencing the Holocaust at the Field Museum

by Deon Belcher 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with the New Memorial Baptize Church. Students participated in a field trip to see “State of Deception,” a traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

My experience at the Field Museum was awesome. I learned about the Holocaust and the important role Hitler played in the history of killing over 6 million Jewish people. The Holocaust was influenced by various posters displaying propaganda (images and words that make people change their way of living). Hitler was the dictator of Germany during the years of the Holocaust. He used the posters and radio broadcasting to convince the German people to hate the Jews.

Hitler built an army of young soldiers; his followers, “The Nazis.” The soldiers grabbed the Jews from their homes and put them into concentration camps. Families were separated; the babies, old people, and disabled people were killed. They were burned, shot, starved and sent to the gas showers. The Jews were chosen to be the target of the Holocaust because they didn’t look like his idea of a pure German. The Jews’ hair wasn’t blonde, their eyes weren’t blue, and they didn’t have bronze skin.

This experience inspired me not to be judgmental to people like Hitler was. Also seeing the burning bodies hurt my feelings because people shouldn’t die like that. I was irritated at the fact it took too long before America or any of the other countries to send help for the people living in the many of camps. Learning that Hitler wasn’t the dictator any longer after the war I was happy because he couldn’t order any more harm to the Jews or any other groups of people.

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