Eight students from the B-TV program at Lora L. Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington, Indiana had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel toPoland in January to witness the 65th anniversary of the Liberation of theAuschwitz prison camp.
Accompanied by Auschwitz survivor Eva Mozes Kor, Bloomington-TV (B-TV) advisor Jeff Rudkin, and parent chaperones, the students had the chance to visit the Schindler Factory, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II - Birkeneau, the Plassau Camp, and other historical sites in Krakow.
The group of four middle school students and four high school students all participate in a B-TV production program and naturally, they took video equipment on their journey. Filming their daily activities, the students even received official press accreditation at the official 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz Ceremony. Shane Spicer, a middle school student from Bachelor Middle school, was particularly impressed, “We got press passes....its all professional people from like CNN and CBS and MSNBC and all those TV stations with letters in the names.”
Traveling around with Eva Mozes Kor, a holocaust survivor, was the highlight for many of the students as she personally showed them areas around the camps where she endured horrible conditions of the Holocaust just 65 years ago. Benny Richmond, a freshman at Bloomington High School South said, “It always seems distant, You know it happened and you know its real and you’ve learned all about it but just coming here and seeing and being there actually. Seeing things you’ve seen in pictures all your life, it really changes it.”
While in Poland, the group maintained communication with Bloomington through a Ning site (http://btvpoland2010.ning.com/) that even allowed for collaboration with other schools learning about the Holocaust. Teacher Ted Baechtold, of Bloomington, linked up with the B-TV bloggers to help his own class understand more about the Holocaust.
Having returned from Poland with incredible stories to tell, the students will be creating documentaries about their experiences and have been writing about the trip for the Bloomington Herald Times Newspaper.
Caleb Baechtold, a high school student, told Ning subscribers what he learned from the trip: “The most valuable thing I’ve gained from this experience was learning about the horrible things and feeling the emotions that you feel when you’re going through the death camps. I think its important for people to understand those emotions so they can prevent genocide from happening in the future.”
You can read, see, and listen to more about B-TV’s trip to Poland on their Ning site: http://btvpoland2010.ning.com/