Holocaust Education Assembly

On Monday, November 7, Greenwood hosted Eva Meisels as our honoured guest and speaker. Eva was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1939, three months before Nazi Germany invaded Poland. After her father was taken to a forced labour camp in 1942, Eva and her mother lived in the Budapest Ghetto, eventually making it to a safe house and obtaining false papers from Raoul Wallenberg that protected them from deportation. She and her mother dealt with months of hunger, vision problems due to being in a dark basement, and countless other losses and challenges before Hungary was liberated. After the war, Eva went back to school and immigrated to Canada in 1956.
Eva's message was powerful. She urged our students to keep learning and seek out education. A self-described life-long learner, Eva emphasized that education is critical to combating antisemitism and other forms of oppression and that continuous learning is of the highest value; in the case of her husband, Leslie Meisels, his knowledge even saved his life during the Holocaust. 
Eva’s early life was filled with moment after moment of pain and injustice, and yet she also spoke with hope and even humour. She urged the students and staff listening to speak out against antisemitism and against hate towards any group of people; she is an inspiration, and I could not be more grateful that she shared this precious time with us. Our students were incredibly attentive during her presentation, demonstrating that they understood the importance of listening to and learning from all that Eva Meisels, Holocaust survivor, was saying. 
Near the end of her presentation, Eva shared one of her favourite quotes from writer and philosopher George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In a time when antisemitism is shockingly on the rise, as are hate crimes in general, revisiting these horrific moments in world history is vital for every one of us -- we all have a role to play in ensuring that history does not repeat itself.

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We acknowledge with gratitude the Ancestral lands upon which our main campus is situated. These lands are the Ancestral territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Anishinabek and the Wendake. The shared responsibility of this land is honoured in the Dish with One Spoon Treaty and as settlers, we strive to care for the land, the waters, and all creatures in the spirit of peace. We are responsible for respecting and supporting the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. When away from this campus we vow to be respectful to the land by protecting and honouring it. We will create relationships with the people and the land we may visit by understanding the territories we enter and the nations who inhabit them.
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