The Stones of Remembrance Project is an annual activity that memorializes the one and a half million children who were killed in the Holocaust. Students from public or private elementary, middle, and high schools are invited to participate.
They are given an actual child’s first and last name, the date and place of birth, and the date and place of death. They write this information on a specially prepared stone and decorate it as they like. The stone then becomes a unique memorial to that child’s life.
Students are encouraged to write a short essay on their participation in the project. The stones are then either displayed as a Holocaust memorial on their school grounds, or each student can take their stone home and place it in a special location in their yard.
Here are some of the essays that were written this year by Atlanta Public School fifth grade students from Morningside Elementary School under the guidance of Mr. Taylor Hatcher, fifth grade teacher. Others can be found on the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Website.
All of these essays were written by 5th grade students at Morningside Elementary School. The teacher explained that for safety purposes, students could only provide their first name and last name initial:
The Holocaust is one of the worst experiences in human history. One guy committing mass murder with no one to stop him. Killing millions of people and children, multiples at a time. Children as young as one years old were being killed with no mercy. How terrible!
But there are some things that are helpful: we can learn about how horrific it really was and make sure it doesn’t happen again, and even honor the people that died. That is what the Stones of Remembrance Project is doing. It is very kind to bring these people back to life through memories. Making these stones makes me feel like I am helping them have a life they never had a chance to live. It restores my faith in humanity.
The Holocaust was an awful, horrid period in time when Jewish children and adults were murdered for no reason at all. When I first learned about it, I was completely shocked at what I was hearing.
I wanted to go back in time and somehow stop the Holocaust from ever happening. I wanted to erase history. I think my opinion on this subject is worldwide and shared by many people.
My opinion is that everyone that died during the Holocaust should get a second chance at life, and that no one, not a single life that was lost during this time, deserved to die. What we are doing is a good act of kindness and a way to bring awareness of people that died during this time. I think this is a great way to remember people as well as doing a small colorful activity.
I cannot emphasize how much compassion I have for the Jewish people. I know this activity will help honor some of these millions of people, at least a little bit.
For all the beautiful people out there, that have been slaughtered under Hitler’s horrible reign,
You are remembered.
For all the names, not the numbers.
For all the lives that were lost.
You will never be forgotten.
On and on until the world collapses,
You will always be in our hearts.
For all the times you have shown us our true value.
For all the hardships you have gone through.
For all the things that you didn’t deserve to happen.
You. Are. Extraordinary.
For the times you heard little birds singing out their hearts on your windowsill.
For all the times you admired the sunset out in the distance.
For all the times you felt warm breezes brushing against your chin, as you danced in the wind.
You are beautiful people.
It means a lot for us to create these stones for the children who died in the Holocaust. It’s actually really sad to make these stones because lots of children died at really young ages.
They didn’t get to live their full lives. I hate the Holocaust because it treated Jewish people like they were garbage and like their lives did not matter. I’m really glad I get to remember and celebrate these little kids’ small amount of life in a great way.
Laszlo Mazanzker was only the age of one when he was killed in the Holocaust along with many others. Many of my classmates have gotten young children for their remembrance stones. Most were the age of one or two.
I find it horrifying that anyone could do anything so inhumane to others because of their race or religion. I hope that nothing in the history of the Earth ever happens like this again. In school we learn about this and to not let this repeat itself. Such a scale of racism is never okay; any scale of racism is never okay. I feel the Nazis had no good reason to kill anyone.
Laszlo Mazanzker was an innocent toddler who had barely any time in this world. His life came to an end almost as soon as it started. While Laszlo was alive, all he got to see were the horrors of the Holocaust and didn’t get to have any of the joy of even being alive. Laszlo could have been a famous person one day, but the Nazis took away all of his freedoms so that all that was left was a sad lonely child who got nothing.
How could they have done this to anyone? Along with Laszlo were many other very young children. Laszlo should be remembered since when he was alive, he was known as a number to the Nazis. To me, Laszlo is a young, remembered child who had a purpose to live.
When you look back at the Holocaust, you think about all the Jews that died. You think about how some people were born in concentration camps. You think about how you would act if you were in the Holocaust.
What would happen? Would you survive? What the Holocaust means to me is that innocent children died. Innocent people died. Jews died. They had no reason to die. It wasn’t their fault they were Jewish. It makes people really mad at how this happened.
A lot of innocent children who were just born lost their lives for no reason. No reason at all. Just like the child I got, Maya Pampushka. She was only one year old. She died for no reason.
I think the Holocaust was a horrible thing. It caused the death of so many innocent people with families just because they celebrated a different religion. It is, in my opinion, one of the very worst things humanity has done.
So many little kids, so many innocent lives were lost just because one horrible, horrible person decided they did not belong on Earth. It was inexcusable, a sin, a sin. Life is a pretty simple objective, with simple rules.
In my mind, if you go against every one of those rules, you get the Holocaust, a manifestation of hate; the dark side of humanity. I think this project is a good thing to give an identify back to some of the unfortunate lives that were lost.
I think that the Holocaust was a very sad time, and I think that it is a great idea to color stones as a remembrance of the kids that died. But what I noticed is that we only made stones for the children. I wish that we could have done it for the adults too. I know the kids are always the ones who should come first and that they didn’t get to live as long as the adults.
But I feel like we aren’t remembering everyone. I feel that if the adults could see that we were remembering the children, they would be proud, but I also feel that they would have wanted to be remembered too. I feel that we are doing our best and that we should keep up the good work.
After writing on these stones, I feel sad. It makes me super sad to think that millions of people died in the Holocaust. The millions of people that died were innocent and were being blamed. The person that I put on my stone did not deserve to die at such a young age of four. At the age of four, you are supposed to be learning to ride a bike, not worry about being hunted down by the Nazis.
Eleven million people. Six million of those people were Jews. One and one half million of those people were children. I have learned a lot about the Holocaust. So many died because of the way they act, the way they look, or the way they pray.
Why does it matter? The Nazis took innocent people and slaughtered them. The Nazis didn’t care if they had a family or had a life at all. They just killed. When I learned about this, I didn’t have much perspective. Now I can picture these peoples’ families that were lost, their identities robbed, their lives destroyed. And no one knew!
After VE day, they freed the people that were still alive. Thousands of dead bodies had been hidden from the public. Reporters took pictures of tons of scrawny survivors, thousands of carcasses. Worst of all, a camera couldn’t catch the lives destroyed and the hopes crushed into one tiny ball what was discarded forever. We need to care!