Henry RamekWhen I was in the 11th grade through my history teacher, I was offered the chance to work on a Holocaust project with a couple of other students. The project actually turned out to be a statewide project to document all of the stories of Holocaust survivors living in California. The survivor that we interviewed is named Henry Ramek. Through a couple of phone conversations, we established a time for the interview. On the day of, my mom picked up my classmates and me and took us to the neighboring city where he resided. We got all set up in his kitchen with the camcorder and sat down to ask questions. Unfortunately, every question I had was asked by one of my classmates so I really didn't say much, but I learned a lot. He showed us the tattoo of his number which I felt really brought the whole thing into perspective. It's one thing to learn about a horrible situation and it's another to actually meet someone that has lived it.
After that the three of us had to write an essay on Mr. Ramek's story and the best one would be chosen to be put into a book with other survivor stories. Also, as a part of this project we went on a trip to the state capital in Sacramento along with other survivors, students, and members of the Jewish community in the Bay Area. I had a good time and I felt like it was really a proud moment for the state. While there we also received a copy of the book with all of the stories inside. Overall, it was a really nice experience that just made history all too real and I'll always appreciate it. Also, while I do remember parts of Mr. Ramek's story, I didn't include them here because it's not really my story to tell. I haven't seen him since the event on April 16, 2006, I hope that he is doing well.