1Tom Lustig and his wife, Rose, came to Big Picture on January 31st to talk about the Holocaust. Tom grew up in Czechoslovakia and was 3 years old when the Nazis took over his hometown. Taken to the Terezin concentration camp, he was immediately separated from his family and put in the children’s barracks. His Mother was a nurse and worked in the camp’s hospital. She would sneak over to his barracks at night and bring him extra food. This was the only time he was able to see her. Tom spent 6 lonely and frightening years in camp before it was liberated and he was able to be reunited with his family. Unfortunately, most of his family did not survive their incarceration.

When Tom gave his presentation the mood was solemn, the cafeteria was quiet, and to say “you could hear a pin drop” would not be an exaggeration. Students listened intently and respectfully as Tom remembered and told his heartfelt story. After an hour of talking, it was the end of the day and many students needed to leave, but a small group stayed behind to continue their conversation and ask questions. It was a presentation not to be forgotten. The high school Humanities classes were gathered by Advisor, Kaarina Aufranc, who coordinated this visit in support of the novel Night her students have been studying.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.