A shock­ing Shoah les­son

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY JULIE CAR­BONARA

STU­DENTS AT an Ital­ian sec­ondary school were stunned when they were told that ac­cord­ing to a new di­rec­tive, pupils with at least one non-Ital­ian par­ent had to study in sep­a­rate class­rooms.

While the im­mi­grant stu­dents ap­peared to ac­cept their fate meekly, pan­de­mo­nium en­sued among their class­mates. Some called the school head to com­plain, some joined their friends in the seg­re­gated class­room, oth­ers phys­i­cally stopped them from leav­ing.

Protest de­mon­stra­tions were be­ing planned and par­ents were about to be con­tacted when the teach­ers re­vealed that the di­rec­tive was not for real.

It had all been a so­cial ex­per­i­ment thought up by Carolina Verg­e­rio, a teacher at the San­dro Per­tini sec­ondary school in Ver­celli, to com­mem­o­rate Holo­caust Memorial Day. The idea was to give the chil­dren a feel of what hap­pened to their Jewish coun­ter­parts when Ben­ito Mus­solini’s in­fa­mous an­ti­semitic laws were im­ple­mented in 1938.

The im­mi­grant chil­dren, who had been told about the plan in ad­vance, were over­whelmed by their class­mates’ re­sponse.

The school prin­ci­pal, Fer­di­nanda Chiarello, was de­lighted: “Of course we ex­pected a re­ac­tion but not like we had. Per­haps if there had been this type of re­ac­tion years ago, things would have taken a dif­fer­ent turn.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.