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Students at Escalante High School travel 5 hours to experience historical exhibit

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Several students in Utah have taken a field trip to the Salt Lake City Library to see the Anne Frank Exhibit on display there. One school brought all of its students a very, very long way to see it.

Escalante High School is about a five hour drive from Salt Lake. Because the school is so small -- under 100 students and only 8 teachers -- everyone one of them loaded onto buses at 5:00 Tuesday morning!

High school senior Kelsey Torgersen said, "It's like, are you kidding me? That is so early!"

"Kids crammed together in a bus is never a good combination," said junior Tyler Hughes.

The ride was a little too long for some. "It's talking, sitting, moving around, trying to find different positions so you are not sore," said eight-grader Claire Johnson.

Ruth Hartz spoke to the students about what she went through during World War II.
Ruth Hartz spoke to the students about what she went through during World War II.

But the students said the long ride was worth it.

Kelsey said, "It gives kids like us from a really small town, you know, more experience to the big world."

"Some of the people in our school didn't even know what the Holocaust was," Claire said.

First the students heard from Ruth Hartz, a "Hidden Child." As a Jew, she was forced to hide in a cellar during World War II. Ruth was touched the kids wanted to hear from her.

Ruth said, "I thought that, by now, the Holocaust would fade into history."

Anne Frank: A History for Today
FREE National Exhibit
April 13-May 11
Salt Lake City Public Library
210 East 400 South
United Jewish Federation of Utah

Tyler was touched by the experience. He said, "There's just something about being in atmosphere like this that just reminds you that this is truly was one of the worst moments in human history."

Then the students walked through the display and learned about Anne Frank. "It's really sad," Claire said.

Kelsey said, "It's really crazy to think that a girl that was that young could have that much impact."

Teacher Jeff Brinkerhoff said, "It's such a significant part of history that we feel like the kids need to see it and be a part of it."

Tyler said the early morning wake-up call and the long bus ride was worth it. He said, "Personally, I think this is just as valuable as any day in the classroom."

The students stayed in Salt Lake for dinner and hope to make it back to Escalante by 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.


"Anne Frank: A History for Today" was developed by the Anne Frank House and is sponsored in North America by the Anne Frank Center USA.


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Amanda Butterfield


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