January 27, 2022

Voices of History for Holocaust Remembrance

As part of our commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we share this documentary project made by Oakwood students during their 2020 Immersion course Voices of History, which was produced in collaboration with Holocaust Museum L.A.  Secondary Campus students will view this video and discuss as part of a larger lesson plan on the Holocaust and the power of first-hand testimonies. Students will also reflect on recent incidents of antisemitism as part of Oakwood’s larger work in diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging.

Edith Frankie (1926-2021) was born December 6, 1926 to Erno and Sara Izsak in the Transylvanian village of Chieșd. She had an older sister Eva and two younger siblings Lili and Endre. In 1944, when Edith was almost eighteen years old, Nazi Germany occupied her hometown. Her family was briefly confined to a ghetto in a nearby city, and then sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Upon their arrival, Edith and Eva were separated from their parents and younger siblings. After a longer selection process, the two of them were sent to a labor camp in Riga, Latvia. The Nazi authorities first ordered them to dig up Jewish tombstones and then to cut down trees in a forest. In August 1944, they were transferred to the Stutthof Concentration Camp in Poland. In the wake of the Soviet military advance, Edith and the other inmates were sent on a death march. After marching through Bergen-Belsen and Ravensbruck, they finally arrived at Malchow Concentration Camp in Germany, where they were liberated in May 1945. Edith moved to Canada in 1947 and eventually settled in Los Angeles. In the mid-1990s, around the time she retired, Edith started sharing her story. For more than 25 years, Edith touched the lives of thousands of students who had the opportunity to hear her story and her message. 

Oakwood students had the honor of meeting Edith Frankie during immersion in 2020. The Voices of History immersion in partnership with Holocaust Museum Los Angeles made a beautiful documentary about Edith’s life.

She passed away in October 2021. May her memory be a blessing.


Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27 is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD). Since 2005, the UN and its member states have held commemoration ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism. The purpose of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is two-fold: to serve as a date for official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime and to promote Holocaust education throughout the world.


Immersion/filmmaking: Emma ’22, Zander ’22, Ryan ’22, Kiki ’22, Lexie ’22, Asher ’22, Teddy ’22, and teachers Melanie Berkey, Matt Fagen

Remembrance Club: Naomi ’22 

Jewish Affinity Group: Becca ’24, Elle ’23