The juniors in the American History II class went to Wahoo on Wed., Mar. 21 to listen to Holocaust survivor Rita Rubinstein.
Rubinstein was born Rifka Lifschitz in 1936 in Romania. She was the only child in a loving family, and her father owned a store along with their two bedroom house. When she was growing up, she enjoyed making costumes and throwing plays with her friends and family, but in 1941, everything changed. The family was informed that they had only 24 hours to pack and leave their home.
When Rubinstein was only four years old, her father was taken from their two bedroom home, and that was the last time she would ever see him again.
“Listening to her tell her story was simply fascinating,” junior Preston Beringer said. “This is a real thing that happened, and we can’t just pretend like it didn’t.”
As the presentation continued, Rubinstein spoke about what an awful time it was during the Holocaust. She had very poor nutrition as she had suffered from tuberculosis and was kept in quarantine, only getting to see her mother once a week.
“Because these people are getting older and they are dying, this opportunity isn’t going to be around forever,” social studies teacher Amp Ferg said. “I would feel like a terrible teacher if I had the opportunity to take students to a Holocaust survivor and I turned it down.”
Rubinstein is now living in Rockville, Maryland, and has three daughters with her husband Nathan.
“I have never had a desire to go back to that awful place,” Rubinstein said. “I am very lucky and thank God that I lived through such a dark time. Everyone should really appreciate their freedoms as I was robbed of my childhood because I was Jewish, and that’s not okay.”