Shelton Students Learn From Holocaust Survivor

A historic event was held in Shelton High School’s lecture hall on November 12, where Holocaust Survivor, Magda Herzberger shared her harrowing experience via Skype, with English students at the school.

Eighty eight years young, Magda Herzberger spoke to Shelton High School’s English students last week of her personal experiences living through the tragedy in Auschwitz.

English Teacher Megan Sherry described Herzberger as “enlightening, inspiring and moving.”

Ms. Sherry continued, “She was eloquent and willing to answer any questions the students had for her.”

Herzberger presented for over an hour and then students were able to interact and ask as many questions as they wanted for the remaining 45 minutes of the presentation. The session has been described as “an amazing, powerful experience for everyone who was able to attend.”

Additionally, the session has been recorded to share with additional classes.

The event was prompted by SHS student, Selena Chapman who studied Mrs. Herzberger and decided to contact her for more information. The Skype session was at the suggestion of Mrs. Herzberger and her desire to “tell her story with as many people as possible.” She recalls the many details of her experience at age 18, and hopes that young people of similar ages will connect with her, and her story.

Dr. Beth Smith, Headmaster of Shelton High School, purchased the Skype technology in order for the interview to take place as well as many more events of this type in the near future. The ability to record Skype sessions will allow this and many other extraordinary events of this nature, to be utilized for students in the future.

Here are the touching comments from Shelton High School students who were in attendance:

  • “She was so positive and informational. She remembered everything so vividly and her words really made an image in my mind of the horror she went through,” Celina Chapman
  • “Listening to Madga made me feel grateful for everything I have. The way she talked made me feel like I was reading a book. She was extremely well spoken,” Nikki Vartuli
  • “After talking to Magda, I realized how good my life is. I think after hearing what a difficult life she had as a kid my age, I will be a better person and try to never take life or freedom for granted. They can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. I will start living in the present and treat every second like it is my last,” Billy Simics
  • “She is an amazing woman who has changed my view on the Holocaust. I cannot believe she kept her faith and trust in God throughout her journey; even when she was on the edge of death and after,” Anna DePasquale
  • “Talking to Madga was truly inspiring. I thought it was incredible how she was so calm about the whole ordeal. She didn’t blame God for any of her hardships. She had a very optimistic view on life. I also thought it was very interesting hearing about her life after the war. In school, we always hear about what happened during the war, but we never learn much about the aftermath,” Vanessa Masick
  • “We always read about the Holocaust in school and our teachers talk about it, but to actually have a survivor tell you her story, and to hear her emotion is so powerful. It was amazing to be able to have this experience,” Melissa Scrivani
  • “She made me re-think my life. I have nothing to complain about. We have our lives given to us on a silver platter. We will hopefully never have to go through this,” Erin Silinsky
  • “Actually getting to speak to a beautiful survivor about the harsh times she experienced was interesting. I was able to put myself in her shoes and I felt sad, scared, and hurt. I felt what she felt through her speech. Madga is a strong woman who should never be forgotten, and will never be forgotten by any of us,” Tyera Sowell

Magda Herzberger currently lives in Arizona with her husband of 67 years. The distinguished poet, lecturer, composer and author of several books, including “Survival”, the compelling autobiography of her childhood and suffering in three Nazi death camps during World War II, can be found on her website


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