With the tug of her red sweater sleeve, Rose Sherman Williams transported a group of fifth-graders to the horrors of the Holocaust. She held her arm high, reciting “A15049,” the tattooed number she answered to during her years at the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps.

Her ordeal began in September 1938, when she was 12 years old — not much older than the 125 students from Navarro Intermediate School in Geronimo who were listening to her story Thursday morning at the Holzman Auditorium of the Barshop Jewish Community Center. “I hope what happened to me never happens again,” said Williams, 82. Learning about the dark period is part of their history curriculum and the “Pennies for the Persecuted” project that teachers Lisa Barry and Traci Brodbeck started in May 2007 to teach tolerance. “They want to know why we have to learn history,” Barry said. “Well, because history repeats itself unless you’re wise to keep it from happening.”