After the internet found out a group of students were giving Nazi salutes over a swastika made out of drinking cups, it’s now reported that Eva Schloss has met privately with the teens involved.
Schloss is the stepsister of Anne Frank, and a holocaust survivor. She often speaks about her experience to educational institutions.
The story started in Orange County, with saved Snapchat photos showing an off campus party. The students in the photos have arranged red, disposable cups in the shape of a swastika, and in another are standing over it making the Nazi salute.
While the students were identified and suspended, it was reiterated by the school board that they needed to educate the students about why this was so horrible.
Charlene Metoyer, the school district’s president, had told CBS Los Angeles,
“More should’ve been done to make sure the students recognize the severity of the symbols they were using. It is not something funny. It’s a very, very serious situation.”
After a community forum Monday, the Chabad Center for Jewish Life announced that Schloss would be meeting with the students privately.
Rabbi Reuven Mintz said,
“Our hope is that meeting someone who witnessed firsthand the atrocities committed under that same swastika and salute will help guide these students toward a life of tolerance and acceptance, spreading a message of inclusion and love, rather than one of hatred,”
This is a very positive move, and it sounds like the students needed it.
nearly 75 years after we thought the Nazis were defeated, their victims must still keep fighting against their continued presence https://t.co/cRNnSdSdAL?
— michaelluongo (@michaelluongo) March 7, 2019
Maybe a tour of Auschwitz would be in order too.
— Daniel Nign (@dwnign) March 7, 2019
I'd require the parents to attend too…it starts from home!
Anne Frank’s stepsister to meet with students involved in party featuring swastika and Nazi salutes https://t.co/Yqm5u4QewI
— Beth Maxey (@Robnatmom) March 7, 2019
Nope— this needs to be a nationally televised event!
— JMQ (@daily_joh) March 7, 2019
Eva Schloss had known Anne Frank when they were children. After she was freed from a concentration camp at the age of 16, she only had her mother left, her father and brother perishing in the holocaust.
They reconnected with Otto Frank, who had lost his wife and daughter to the Nazis. Her mother eventually married Frank, making Schloss into Anne Frank’s step-sister.
As Schloss got older, she began sharing her story as much as possible, even recently being recorded for a holographic display. The hologram will answer questions with the pre-recorded answers.
When she met with the students, they were very apologetic. The students and their parents kept apologizing during the meeting, as she explained what she endured directly under the symbol and action those teens had treated as a joke.
Schloss expressed a hope that more education about the Holocaust and World War II could help explain why these symbols aren’t for jokes.
“[The students] don’t realize what those signs really mean to victims who have gone through this period.”
While it’s great that Schloss could speak to these kids so directly, and the students needed to hear it, they shouldn’t have needed it.
Can someone tell me what’s wrong with kids these days? Like why couldn’t the tide pods have killed yall?😂☠️https://t.co/GnLRWreeLz
— Dime (@iamwitchbaby) March 7, 2019
What the hell is wrong with people? No matter how long ago the Holocaust was, it'll never be okay to make fun of it. Millions of lives were tragically taken for no reason. Fuck anyone who thinks it's okay to joke about it.https://t.co/YptI29BBRd
— sam (@yerawitchSam13) March 7, 2019
2019 is weird. Under what circumstances would any of us ever come up with this headline? https://t.co/JO8PijX93B
— Marcus Boyd (@phudling) March 7, 2019
At that age in school, we saw grainy holocaust videos in class… Also learned importance of voting. What are schools doing now?🤔
— iamlinda (@pica2pixel) March 7, 2019
While the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime during the second world war seem like common knowledge, they’re becoming less common as time moves on.
The LA Times reports that 66% of young adults didn’t know why the Auschwitz camp was infamous, and nearly 40% believed fewer than 2 million Jewish people were murdered during the holocaust.
For today’s teens, those statistics are getting worse, as the war moves further and further back in history.
It’s not just the young people this is a problem for, however. The students and their parents were invited to a Jewish day school in Irvine the day before they met with Eva Schloss, where the head of the school spoke about the Holocaust.
One of the visiting parents privately approached the administrator and said,
“I’m so sorry, I had no idea. I apologize for not taking this seriously until now. I never had this education. I’m so sorry.”