World Literature and AP Biology students at McCutcheon High School toured Auschwitz, a NAZI World War II concentration camp with Holocaust survivor Eva Kor as their guide. The experience was made possible through filmmaker Ted Green’s virtual reality documentary and WFYI in Indianapolis. Green shared stories of getting to know Kor while making the film before students put on headsets to get a personal perspective.
The Eva Virtual Reality Tour provides students with a 360-degree experience at four locations in Auschwitz that were central to Eva’s story: the selection platform, the blood lab, barracks and the spot where Eva announced her forgiveness.
“Visiting the barracks was haunting for many students, and they told me they could better understand the fear and isolation that are described in the testimonies,” says English teacher Stella Schafer. “They are grateful for the experience and thought their learning about the Holocaust was taken to a higher level.”
The activity fit in well for Abi Bymaster’s AP Biology class studying clinical trials and ethics. “Eva's story and the virtual reality interactive activity provided us pause for reflection, a chance to recognize those who unwillingly gave the ultimate price for medical advancements, and to encourage students to think morally, act bravely and make sound decisions as they move into adulthood,” says Bymaster.
“These lessons are so important because the Holocaust was a systematic process of intolerance and hatred that led to the violation of human rights which resulted in genocide,” says Schafer. “I want my seniors to be able to recognize the warning signs so they can be the next generation empowered by education to speak out and stop this from happening in the future, especially when we see so much bigotry in the world today.”
Green concluded each session with a challenge: “While Eva is no longer with us, we can all learn something from her legacy. What can you do to make the world a better place?”