News: Holocaust Survivor Speaks to HCA Eighth Graders
Mrs. Zelda Fuksman, representing Hidden Children of the Holocaust, spoke to Mrs. Fonseca’s HCA 8th grade English students this past Tuesday. Mrs. Fonseca invited Zelda to speak at Highlands after her class read and discussed The Diary of Anne Frank, the story of a young girl in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Zelda was a four-year-old Jewish girl living in Poland when in 1939 the Nazis invaded her home country. Mrs. Zelda, currently a Boca Raton resident, relocated to Chicago, Illinois in 1949. Students listened attentively as she recounted a heart-rending tale of a childhood spent on the run from the Nazis. She says, “It was an evil time in history. They were shooting at us on the train, and we had to jump off and hide in the nearby forest. I was so scared…the noise, the flashing, the shooting…” She told of living in flea and lice-infested conditions, going years without bathing, being in constant fear, and experiencing starving hunger for years on end.
“It is history to you, we lived through it,” the speaker continued. “As a child you didn’t know about hope, you didn’t know about giving up. You lived to survive.” Mrs. Zelda encouraged the students to remember that we are all a part of the same human race, and we must learn to live with and respect each other. She says she shares her story to “teach students to be better people, to stand strong and fight injustice and bullying.”
HCA faculty member Mrs. Fonseca shares that her students listened, enjoyed, and benefited from hearing Mrs. Zelda speak, and they are writing her thank you notes this week. The administration and staff of Highlands Christian Academy joins the students in thanking their new friend Zelda for the time she has taken to teach and share the experiences of her life.