The Vermont Academy Holocaust class, along with teacher Ed Donnellan, recently traveled to Washington, DC to the National Holocaust Museum and Capitol Building.
The class took the train from Bellows Falls to DC, arriving late in the evening. After an overnight stay, the group spent the first half of their day in the city at the Holocaust Museum before traveling to the Capitol building.
Later that evening, the class enjoyed a family style Italian dinner and shared stories of their experience at the museum. It was evident that the visit had a profound impact on the students.
Senior Eric Guardia commented, "One particular exhibit really touched me. There was a train car that was used to deport Jews. I entered the car and kept staring at a corner of the train car that was lit up.
"It almost looked like someone was in the corner in pain and agony. I touched the train softly and felt a shiver which went from my hand to every part of my body. All I learned in class this year became real to me at that moment."
Junior Margo Feingold wrote, "I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to go on the trip to the Holocaust Museum, and I want to thank all of those people who made it possible. I was very moved by the exhibits I saw in the museum.
"One exhibit stood out to me the most. I walked into a room and was surrounded on both sides by piles of shoes. No one else was in the room with me. I stood there and took in my surroundings.
"The smell of the shoes overwhelmed me. At this moment everything I've learned about the Holocaust became real. It helped me put the pieces together and understand the Holocaust on a much deeper level."
The cost of the trip was provided by a parental donor. It is Ed Donnellan's hope to include the trip as part of the Holocaust curriculum class next year.