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Holocaust Remembrance: A Story of Survival

Holocaust Remembrance: A Story of Survival

Never Forget: these words echoed throughout the Iglehart Center on Thursday afternoon. They were spoken by Logan Hollins ‘25, by Headmaster Chris Post, and by holocaust survivor and keynote speaker Rita Rubinstein, each of whom addressed the middle and upper schools in observance of the day.

The assembly centered on a presentation from Rita Rubinstein, an 86-year-old survivor who now resides in Maryland. Mrs. Rubinstein, who is the grandmother of Blake Shumate '25, was just four years old when she and her family escaped from a Nazi-occupied area in what was once Romania. She told the harrowing story of her escape, her family’s three-year stay in a ghetto for Jewish war refugees and her eventual immigration to the US. She also drew our attention to human goodness: strangers who helped her family, appreciation for the liberating forces and patriotism for our country, which welcomed and gave opportunities to her family. A slideshow of maps and pictures and her childhood helped bring her words to life. "We must remember the past and have hope in the future," Mrs. Rubinstein told the audience, "I don't want my past to be your future."

Mrs. Rubinstein’s presentation followed brief remarks from Logan Hollins, the student leader of the Jewish Awareness Club, which sponsored the event. 

“It is important that all of us - not just Jews - never forget,” he reminded the audience.

Blake Shumate ‘25 also delivered a moving introduction, in which he called his grandmother “my hero.”

“My grandma’s strength and resilience is how I strive to be every day,” said Blake.

It was Mrs. Rubinstein’s incredible tale that anchored the day’s proceedings.

“My revenge on Hitler is that I was successful,” she said, near the end of her talk, “I got married, got my education and have eight wonderful grandchildren.”

To close the program, Mr. Post led the community in a moment of silence. He reiterated the importance of remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust:

“It is part of our mission to fulfill our core values of courage, compassion and integrity to ensure that we never forget.”