"Anyone can go to the Holocaust museum [in Washington DC] but not everyone gets this experience." ~A. Speitel (student, 17)
Ruth Hartz Speaks, Donates Book to School Library (Pictures)
The Holocaust Awareness Museum extended its Survivor Outreach program to sixth grade students at Visitation BMV School, Philadelphia, Tuesday morning, January 12, 2010. Ruth Hartz, Holocaust Survivor and Hidden Child, told her story to more than forty children at the invitation of Sister Dolores Egner, Principal and Emily Diefendorf, their teacher.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Hartz acknowledged the special connection between her Catholic audience and the nuns who saved her some sixty-five years earlier. She then signed and donated her book, My Name Is Renee, to the school library
Hartz told the children how at first an ordinary French farm family hid her family away. When their hideout was recognized as unsafe, Hartz was moved as an “orphan” to a convent where an extraordinary Mother Superior provided shelter and protection from a pro-Nazi French regime in southern France. Hartz and her parents avoided capture, and after the war, her family moved to Paris where Hartz completed her education, married and came to the United States in 1958.
The students were very well prepared for Hartz’s appearance and asked many polite and curious questions. In response, Hartz told the students that during the entire ordeal, she missed her parents most of all.