Students and Survivors Dramatize Stories of The Shoah

http://forward.com/articles/199908/staging-holocaust-stories-proves-therapeutic-for-w/?

Paying It Forward: Sarah Cohen, 17, helps to dramatize the stories of Holocaust survivors at a session of the Witness Theater program in Brooklyn.

Sarah Cohen always looked forward to Wednesdays. Every week, from September through April, Cohen, 17, would wait for the end of her classes at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. Just before 4 p.m., Cohen would head to the wood-paneled room just past the yeshiva’s lobby, which usually serves as its beit midrash, or study house.

There, she and 15 fellow seniors would meet with eight Holocaust survivors from Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Austria.

When she was 14, Cohen visited the Yad Vashem museum in Israel, and she has been devouring books about survivors ever since. But what she really wanted was to hear the stories directly from those who lived them.

“I have a fear of how in a few years, there’s not going to be any Holocaust survivors,” she told me before a session one Wednesday in mid-February. “I feel like I have an obligation to hear their stories from their mouths to pass on to future generations.” So on Wednesday evenings she sat, holding a pen, recording furiously.

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