MCCF Sponsors Trip to Auschwitz for Local Educators

Published: January 24, 2020

Ten local educators will travel Poland for the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

In 2018, MCCF was approached by a private donor who expressed interest in funding Holocaust education in our local schools and community. Specifically, this funder wanted to bring in Eva Moses Kor, a Holocaust survivor, to speak and share her story of forgiveness in spite of unspeakable atrocities that were done to her and her family. During her internment at Auschwitz concentration camp, Eva and her twin sister, Miriam, were subjected to genetic experimentation by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, she received international attention when she publicly forgave the Nazis for what had been done to her.

Through the generosity of this private donor, the MCCF sponsored an evening with Eva Kor last spring at the CHS auditorium. The room was packed to capacity as she shared her story that ended with the powerful message of forgiveness. Prior to that evening, Eva spoke to Southmont students educating them about the Holocaust and modeling the example of the human spirit’s power to overcome.

In 1984, Kor founded CANDLES Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute. Through MCCF's work with Eva and the CANDLES museum, we learned about a trip to Auschwitz on the 75th anniversary commemorating the liberation of that camp. The same private donor generously offered to sponsor 10 local teachers to go on this trip, along with Kelly Taylor, Executive Director of MCCF. Teachers from the three local school districts were invited to apply. 

Those selected for the trip are:

Sharon Barr, Southmont Jr. High School

Amy Carrington, Crawfordsville Middle School

Anthony Gonczarow, Southmont High School

Marci Huckstep, Southmont High School

Erin Jones, Southmont Jr. High School

Sharon McClean, Crawfordsville Middle School

Megan Oppy, North Montgomery High School

Jodi Webster, Northridge Middle School

Kathryn Yoakum, Southmont High School

Elena Dove, Southmont High School

Eva Kor at Crawfordsville High School in 2019

The group will leave for Poland on January 25th and receive firsthand experience and education about the Holocaust, specifically about the Auschwitz concentration camp. They will take turns sending daily updates that MCCF will share with the community online and in local publications. You can follow along on our website here or through the MCCF Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

In a letter Eva wrote to those who were going on the trip, she said, “I am glad you have chosen to join me on this journey, and I hope it will only help you grasp the importance of and the need to advocate for Holocaust education for future generations. This will be a valuable experience that you can pass along to others for years to come.” Eva planned to lead this trip but sadly passed away last July. However, her desire that future generations will know about the Holocaust will continue through the work of the CANDLES museum, and through these individuals making this trip and sharing their experiences.

The group will be in attendance for a ceremony commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. You can read more about it and how to watch live here.