How a local teacher met Holocaust survivor Regina Spiegel

How a local teacher met Holocaust survivor Regina Spiegel

A story I wrote for today's newspaper reports on Franklin Middle School teacher Trina Wetzel's recent trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and what that means for her eighth grade students.

She brought back a great story from that trip that I wasn't able to find a place for in the article, but it is definitely worth sharing.

At the beginning of a tour of the Holocaust museum, each visitor is given an identification card displaying the name and biography of an individual victim of the Holocaust. The visitor becomes acquainted that person, and then at the end of the tour, the visitor finds out whether or not the victim on the ID card survived.

Wetzel's ID card described Regina Spiegel (Gutman), who was born in Poland in 1926 and whose family was forced into a ghetto in 1941. In 1944, the Nazis transported Spiegel and her family to the Auschwitz concentration camp. You can read Spiegel's full biography on the Holocaust museum's website by clicking here.

Naturally, Wetzel was curious to find out whether Spiegel survived. Usually, she would find out by looking for the name of the person on her ID at the end of the tour.

In what is usually an unrelated feature of the museum, surviving victims of the Holocaust greet museum visitors and retell their personal histories.

When Wetzel came to that part of the tour, there was Spiegel, greeting museum visitors. That was a pretty clear answer to the question of whether she had made it through the Holocaust.

"We know she's alive, because she signed" the ID card, Wetzel said.

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