"Hearing one person tell their story gave a completely different perspective to what happened, as it wasn't about statistics or about a nation as a whole, but one person who lost his family and home." ~O. Avery (student)
Ruth Hartz Speaks to Beth Am Students
Ruth Hartz, Holocaust survivor and Hidden Child, spoke to a combined eighth grade class at Congregation Beth Am in Jenkintown, PA., Tuesday evening, Jan.12, 2010. Hartz was invited by teachers Cindy Band and Rachel Frankel to tell her story of survival and sacrifice. Ms. Hartz’s appearance was sponsored by the Holocaust Awareness Museum as part of its Survivor Outreach Speakers Bureau.
Hartz spoke of her harrowing and frightening experience as a six year old girl first torn away from her family and friends and then from her parents in southern France living amongst French Nazi collaborators. WWII was a shameful time in French history, Hartz said, pointing to that country’s treatment of the Jewish population and cooperation with the Nazi regime. She went on to explain that she owed her life and her family’s safety to the goodness of an ordinary French farm family and the courage of a Mother Superior in a nearby convent where Ruth or Renee, as she was known then, was protected as an “orphan.”
At the conclusion of her remarks, Ms. Hartz narrated a 15 minute power point presentation showing many photos of family and her French benefactors. The Beth Am eighth graders then participated in a robust question and answer session closing the evening program.