Holocaust Survivors Address Bullying at Orchard Valley Middle School

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – The seventh-grade class at Orchard Valley Middle School (OVMS) listened to featured speaker, Werner Reich, Holocaust survivor.
Reich visited the Middle School students in hopes of relating his ordeal during the Holocaust to modern-day bullying.
“Don’t be indifferent," said Reich. "Indifference kills. Don’t be a good person who does nothing. Help each other. Be sincere. We all need each other, and we have to stick together. Be nice to each other so you can live in a nice world and have a beautiful life.”
Reich told the students about his experiences growing up during the Holocaust. Including that when he was just 15 years old he was arrested by the Gestapo and placed into a concentration camp after going into hiding for two years.
He moved around to several camps before eventually arriving at Auschwitz, the location where 1.1 million lives were taken during the Holocaust, at just 16 years old.
“I didn’t know if I would be dead or alive from one day to the next,” Reich said. “And there was nothing I could do about it. I was a teenager. All teenagers believe they are indestructible, so I believed that I would survive. The problem was there were thousands and thousands of teenagers who believed the same thing, and they didn’t.”
Reich was accompanied by William Rauscher, author of the upcoming book, The Death Camp Magicians. The book recounts Rauscher’s time during the Holocaust as well as fellow Holocaust survivor, Herbert Nivelli.
Attendees from Orchard Valley Middle School expressed gratitude to all presenters who shared their story.
“We feel extraordinarily honored to have had the opportunity to have a first-hand recollection of this history,” said Christopher Spina, OVMS teacher. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us, and it was significant since, in 2015, we mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the year that the U.S. Army discovered the concentration camps.”

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