Guta Goldstein, Auschwitz survivor and author of the book There Will Be Tomorrow, spoke at Hagley on July 1. At 86, Guta is one of the few survivors left from what she describes as an "evil" period of history. What did some of our Year 12 Philosophy students think about Guta and her story?
What interested you most about Guta’s talk?
The fact that I was hearing someone speak who had really been there, made me actually realise that that really truly happened, that it’s not just some far fetched fairy tale. Somehow - I don’t know how - the holocaust really happened. It doesn’t seem like it should have happened. How could something so cruel and inhumane really be done? And how was anybody ok helping it be carried out?
Describe what affected you the most during the talk and why?
I found it shocking when Guta told us how her aunt died because of how it happened. When they were arriving to Auschwitz, her aunt was told to go in a different line and she would never see her again.
The thing that affected me the most was how first hand and raw her whole ordeal was when written down. I feel that most times we hear about times like these, they are mostly secondary sources, or [hate to say this] made up like in most movies or books. To hear the raw story from the person who originally went through all her experiences was something very different and emotional and realistic.
Outline what ideals in today’s society could prevent what happened to Guta reoccurring.
Unfortunately, it is my belief that there isn't anything in today’s society that would even make people think twice about doing this again. I believe this because it is currently happening to the Muslim people by America.
Imagine your humanity stripped down to its basics by inhumane treatment or by the onslaught of some environmental disaster. Describe, for you, what you would hold on to; what are the (non-negotiable) basics of your humanity i.e. your bottom-line?
Food, shelter, company, warmth.
You can see more of Guta Goldstein at Hagley at this link, including a short interview with Hagley Philosphy student Josh Murrell about his response to Guta’s story.