Holocaust Guest Speaker Renee Rieder Siegel Visits 11th Grade 20th Century World History Classes
As part of their study of the Holocaust, 11th grade 20th Century World History classes taught by Jackie Scully and Mary Anne Henderson recently received visits from Renee Rieder Siegel, who speaks often about her mother’s journey as a Holocaust survivor. Her mother, Helen, grew up in Czechoslovakia as a young girl and by her teenage years she was put into a ghetto and then multiple concentration camps including Auschwitz. Despite originating from a large family, only one sibling survived alongside Helen. Following the liberation of the camps, Helen’s journey led her to Israel, where she eventually met her husband. Years later, they immigrated to the United States, where they raised their two children, and Renee actively continues to disseminate her mother’s story.
Renee ended her presentation focusing on the themes of her mother’s life of resilience and rebirth. She noted that through everything her mother went through, she always remembers those that were kind to her.
One student reflected on Renee’s presentation:
“I was honestly moved to tears during her presentation. This was a story about the Holocaust, but at its core it’s a story about a family that was torn apart. It was very personal, especially because Ms. Renee’s mother lost all of her family members except for her brother, and even then, she was alone for years. Her family had to endure so much, and the fact that she was able to share her story (and now her daughter for her) is really inspiring. I’m really grateful that we were able to have Ms. Renee visited our class.”