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    The sophomores’ trip to the Holocaust Museum: how it was replicated this year
    The Holocaust Museum is now open and is accepting a limited number of visitors (photo from

    Every spring, the sophomores at Gonzaga go to the Holocaust Museum as part of their religion classes. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not possible last year, and it was not be possible again this year. As a result, sophomore religion teachers are finding different ways to replicate this experience and its impact to the best of their abilities.

    Ms. Shannon Berry, religion teacher, had her class participate in the virtual tour provided by the Holocaust Museum last year. 

    “I had my students go through the virtual tour and answer some questions. It’s obviously not the same, but it does give them a little bit,” Ms. Berry said. 

    This year, she planned to do the same. 

    “I think [this] is really important. [Students] are able to access both the history of it and become more empathetic,” she said.

    Dr. Harry Rissetto’s sophomore religion class had a similar experience.

    “We worked with a video provided by the Holocaust Museum that educated the guys as to what was happening in 1930s Germany, what led up to the Holocaust and why it was allowed to happen,” Dr. Rissetto said. 

    Dr. Rissetto, like Ms. Berry, used the virtual tour this year as well, and he plans on introducing it to all sophomores.

    Patrick Barry, junior, was a member of Dr. Rissetto’s class last year. Fortunately, he was one of the few groups that was able to attend the museum in person just before it was closed. However, he was not able to experience everything the museum had to offer.

    “I remember the Holocaust survivors not being able to be at the museum due to COVID concerns,” Barry stated.

    Though it was limited, Barry learned quite a bit about the imagery and symbolism surrounding the Holocaust.

    “It was initially historically and factually based, but there was more symbolism as we went through it. The museum was more than just a historical commemoration; it made me feel the weight of the Holocaust emotionally,” Barry stated.

    Due to the CDC’s new regulations, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is now open to the public. Hopefully, next year’s sophomores will be able to attend in person and fully experience the museum.

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