Watson Chronicle

WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Programs for P-12 Students

Noble Middle Schoolers Attend Alfred Schnog Event at WCE

Monday, January 27, 2014

Noble Middle Schoolers at Alfred Schnog Event at WCE

On Nov. 21, WWII Holocaust survivor and activist Alfred Schnog was guest speaker at the Watson College, at an event coordinated by WCE faculty member Lisa Buchanan. Audience members included social studies teacher and WCE alumni Syndy Kevitz and 25 of her eighth grade students from MCS Noble Middle School in Wilmington.

Schnog recounted events during the 1930s that led to the killing of 6 million Jews and 5 million others as the Nazis took control of Germany, a country his Jewish family had lived in for more than 200 years. He shared photos and told stories of his family’s escape from Germany and eventual relocation in the United States.

The students wanted to know what Schnog thinks of Germany now. “It’s a different country,” he said, adding that the events happened a long time ago and most German people view the Holocaust as a dark period in their nation’s history.

Kevitz asked if Schnog had any advice for the students in the audience. Schnog thought for a moment, then said,  “Yes. You saw the photos of propaganda I showed you. Learn to question what you read in newspapers and what you see on TV. If you’re not sure, ask adults you trust.  Don’t just step along with everyone. Remember Germany and remember what happened there.”

Schnog said he’s proud to be an American citizen and proud of his service in the U.S. military during the Korean War.  He said the ‘Greatest Generation’ and the U.S. government saved the world from Nazi Germany, and the U.S. Bill of Rights is a fabulous document; one that “has stood up for 200 years and is invaluable to freedom loving people not just here, but throughout the world.”  Addressing students in the audience he advised, “Don’t take your liberties for granted. You must work to protect them, and find a way to serve your country.”

In recent years, Schnog has been a featured speaker at middle schools, high schools, colleges and communities throughout North Carolina. This was his third speaking engagement at UNCW.