D211 Post: Holocaust Survivor Tells Conant Students of Experiences

Barney Sidler tells students at James B. Conant High School about his experiences during the Holocaust.

            On April 11, 1945, a 12-year-old Barney Sidler was liberated from the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.  On April 30, 2019, the now 86-year-old Holocaust survivor shared his experiences with the students of James B. Conant High School.

            During the first 30 minutes of the presentation, Sidler described his life from the time Nazi soldiers occupied his home town of Deblin, Poland in September 1939.  He discussed being pulled out of school and moved into what he called “an open ghetto,” and ultimately being loaded into a train for the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

            After telling the students about the trials he overcame, Sidler shared photos of his family as well as images of the inside of the camp he was held in.  He told the assembly that out of almost 118 members of his extended family, only 11 survived.

            Freshman Jessica Garcia said she was moved by Sidler’s story.

            “I have never met anyone who has gone through everything he has,” she said.  “It was very interesting and sad.  We learn about people like Anne Frank, but we have never gotten to see someone up close who has gone through that.”

At the conclusion, Sidler answered a number of questions from the students before ending with a message of hope.

            “My advice for you is don’t stop,” he told the students.  “Set a goal for yourself and achieve it.  You can do it if you put your mind to it.”

            You can listen to Sidler’s story here.