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Beamer students hear an up-close perspective on the Holocaust

May 31 2006

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

Pete Metzelaar remembers World War II in great detail — he spent most of it hiding with his mother.

A boy at the time, Metzelaar and his mother went into hiding in The Netherlands so German soldiers wouldn’t send them to Nazi Germany’s infamous concentration camps. Metzelaar and his mother were Jews. Almost six million Jews who lived in countries conquered by the German military died in the Holocaust.

Metzelaar spoke to more than 100 students at Todd Beamer High School last week about his experiences. It was part of a day-long presentation by the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. April 25 was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Several students crowded around Metzelaar after his presentation to ask questions and look at photos of his family, the yellow Star of David that Nazis made Jews wear and his school report card.

Paul Sakowicz, a junior, said Metzelaar gave the students details of what it was really like during that time.