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NMHS Experience in Europe

Students+from+Midland+Park%2C+New+Milford+and+California+all+pose+for+a+picture.+
Students from Midland Park, New Milford and California all pose for a picture.

Students from Midland Park, New Milford and California all pose for a picture.

Students from Midland Park, New Milford and California all pose for a picture.

Natalie Benoit, Co-Editor

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Europe was uncharted territory for many NMHS students, at least until Colleen Tambuscio designed the Holocaust Study Tour. For over 10 years, students from New Milford High School have been given the opportunity to travel to countries including Germany, Poland and Czech Republic. While on the trip, students learn the culture of each nation, as well as the history each country played in the occurrence of the Holocaust. Aside from NMHS, Midland Park High School in Northern New Jersey, and Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California (the Bay Area), are also a part of the program and traveled to Europe.

Students from the New Milford community who went with the study group included juniors Colin Hollis, Thomas Robalino, Colin Angelitud, and Matthew McElroy. Seniors Katrina Toledo, Julia Sidorsky and Luke Lynam also attended the trip. Colleen Tambuscio created a blog with the itinerary of each day in Germany, Poland and Czech Republic, with photos of the monuments, locations and people the group met while in Europe. To see these images, click here!

During an interview with Julia Sidorsky (’17) and Colin Hollis (’18), the two students expressed their appreciation for the study tour and claimed “it was an eye-opening experience.”

Sidorsky described what it was like meeting students from California and Midland Park, NJ. “There were three girls from Midland Park who I bonded with quickly and got to know right off the bat. I still talk to one of the girls almost every day. As for the California kid, we met during breakfast on the first day of our stay in Europe. I didn’t want them to feel left out since us Jersey students got to know each other weeks prior to the trip. I immediately introduced myself and between the long bus rides and sitting at dinner together, it was so cool to get to meet these friendly people. I only knew most of them for two weeks, but it felt like I’d known them forever!”

Hollis also commented on the study tour, ” We visited Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. A few memorials that stood out to me were the remaining ashes of those who perished at Auschwitz. Just imagining those people’s lives and how similar they were to mine just really hits you.  The Children’s memorial at Lidice has 82 statues for all the children of the village in order to commemorate their existence. The statues were also sculpted to resemble many of the kids from the town, and while we were there, it started to rain. The rain only emulated the tear drops running down the faces, making the memorial all the more powerful.”

Sidorsky also described an average day on the trip as “amazing, but also super exhausting.” “We’d have to be down at breakfast about half an hour before we left

“We’d have to be down at breakfast about half an hour before we left every day, which would range from 7:30 to 8:30, so we were always up very early. We usually took the bus to our first stop and then from there on out, would have to walk around, or be on and off the bus depending on how far the destinations were. While on the bus, the rides would either be short or last 1-4 hours, and we’d go from lively to completely silent when we’d all fall asleep! The group would usually go to a couple monuments, museums, or other historical sites every day and then we’d end up back at the hotel for an hour and go to dinner. Dinner would be over around 10 o’clock, but we STILL had to debrief which would last until around 11. Afterward, we would finally be able to go to our rooms and do our padlets. I liked how our days were always filled, but I probably enjoyed the long bus rides where I finally got to sleep more!”

From these interviews, it looks like the Holocaust Study Tour is one trip NMHS students should seriously look into!

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NMHS Experience in Europe