Our MS and HS students and staff recently had the privilege of hearing Mr. Mark Schonwetter, a holocaust survivor, share his story. After escaping from a Jewish Ghetto, Mark hid from the Nazis in Poland with his mother and sister in forests, homes, and with pigs on a farm. For the duration of the war they avoided being forced back into a ghetto and concentration camps.
Our students and staff were deeply moved by his incredible journey of survival.
“Hearing Mr. Schonwetter gave me a new perspective. It made me think about all the times I complain about things that I think are “hard.” What he went through was so much worse. I keep thinking about the awful things he had to go through, especially living underneath the pigs for months. When I go through difficult things, I will think of him.” ~ 11thGrader, Samantha Ulrich
“Nowadays, we have people denying that the holocaust even happened and others just downplaying the events of the holocaust and the impact it had on society, so I think that it was really good that Mr. Schonwetter was able to share his story and for all of us to hear how it affected him first-hand.” ~ 10th grader, Alana Holmes
“Mark’s story is one of resilience and he is brave to share his trauma with others. I was incredibly honored to meet him.” ~ Mrs. Dagnall, History Teacher
“Mr. Schonwetter’s story was amazing! He stayed strong through it all. It made me think about how we can stay strong like that by following God’s Word. God will help us to stay on the right path and walk in a good way. I love that Mr. Schonwetter is still alive and enjoying his life! I have heard a lot of stories, but Mr. Schonwetter’s is the most amazing!” ~6th grader, Tyari Perry
“His story was truly inspirational! All my peers and I were very engaged in what he had to say. I think he left a big impact on us all. It made me want to share his story with others!” ~ 12th Grader, Victoria Vega
Mark referenced other genocides and humanitarian crises and ended with this sentiment: “Hatred is going to bring us to more hatred…be gentle and cooperative with people you disagree with…we are all human beings, and we should live in peace with each other.” We are so grateful for Mark’s message of hope and encouragement.
After Mr. Schonwetter finished speaking, our students had the opportunity to ask questions. The time ended with 11th grader, Gio Periera, saying, “Thank you for being so strong and brave to share your story with us.”
We at TCS are so grateful that our almighty sovereign God protected and provided for Mark, his mom and his sister throughout those years through friends and strangers along the way and brought him to share his story with us today. As his daughter, Isabella said, it is now our job to continue to share his story with others!
Mark’s daughters Isabella Fiske and Ann Arnold, work together with their dad to educate others about his experiences and remind people about the tragedy of the Holocaust and the dangers of hatred. You can learn more about the Mark Schonwetter’s Foundation and Holocaust education here.
To hear his story, click on the image below or this link: https://youtu.be/eop9u8T7fbo
As you listen to Mark’s story, we pray you will be blessed and share it with others.