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Scott details Holocaust for PC school students

PLUM CITY --- "Those who do not learn from the past shall be condemned to repeat it."

That line was first uttered by the famous Spanish philosopher George Santayana. Locally, it's the goal speaker Timothy Scott hopes students get from his presentation on the Holocaust.

"I don't think this is lame history," Scott said Wednesday at Plum City High School as he was talking to students in grades eight through 12. "You should never ever forget this stuff. I hope you remember this message for the rest of your life."

The Holocaust was a 12-year period between 1933 through 1945 in which approximately seven to 10 million people were murdered by Nazi Germany and its leader, Adolf Hitler. The target of the Nazis during that time was, without question, people of Jewish faith, as Scott said 5.1 to six million of the casualty figure were Jews.

Scott's goal is the origins of the Holocaust, discrimination of a race or races of people based on how they looked or acted, is as prevalent today just as much as it was back then.

"Don't forget the Nazi party was elected in a democracy similar to the U.S.," Scott said. "Hitler spoke with passion and fervor, but he listened to people."

He was saying this, standing next to a lit candle. The message of the candle was the Spirit of the Holocaust has been/could be alive inside of all of us and, by listening, Hitler was able to increase the flames in the Nazis to where it achieved the status it did.

And to back his point up even more, he gave examples of the Holocaust happening today in this country (i.e. Matthew Shepherd, the Columbine shootings) and closer to this area (school shootings in Minnesota and Wisconsin).

That last part, Scott felt, was the important part of the message.

"That's what brings it home," he said.

To set up his message, Scott spent nearly the first half of the four-hour presentation painting the picture of what life was like for a typical Jewish family in the Ukraine before and after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. He then described the ride the Jewish family had to a concentration camp in a cattle car, in which no food or water was allowed and that dead bodies and human sewage would pile up by the day, and that the ride to a concentration camp would sometimes be in the neighborhood of 2-11 days.

"You would pray for your own death," Scott said while describing the ride.

And when the family got to the camp, they're split into what usage the leaders thought best--for example, the boys and younger men for slave work, the young girls turning into prostitutes, the weak and injured shot within hours upon arrival because they had no usage. In the end, Scott ended each part of the family with death.

"You lived in a world of constant death," he added. "You tried to figure out the Nazi logic, but you never could."

Scott based his story on hundreds of interviews, research and gathering information he's garnered over the past 30 years.

And while the Nazis were dominantly white, Scott gave examples in which whites were targeted or assaulted.

"You don't have to be white to hate, you have to be human," he said.

At the end, both parties were happy spending those four hours together.

"I knew this group was attentive," Scott said. "I had a very good sense."

Said Paul Churchill, Plum City High School Principal, "This is the third time we've had him (PC invites Scott to come about every four years). It was very educational and well worth it."

Scott's full-time job is being a lawyer for Bakke-Norman in New Richmond. He was born in Medford, and has degrees from St. John's University in Minnesota, the University of Minnesota and Eberhard-Karls Universitat in Tubingen, Germany, where he received a Master of Laws in German and European Community Law in 1990. It's estimated he gives his Holocaust presentation 40-50 times a year.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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