A Week of Holocaust Learning with the Elgin U-46 School District & Carmel Catholic HS

January 23-26, 2024

This upcoming January 2024, the Elgin U-46 school district and Spungen Family Foundation will come together for three days of learning centered around the Holocaust. High school classes will be bussed to Elgin Community College and get the opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor tell their story, explore the Spungen Foundation’s exhibit of genuine WWII artifacts, and attend a special performance of the theatrical play, Letters from Anne and Martin, presented by the Anne Frank Center USA.


The events of January 23-25, 2024 fall in-between Martin Luther Jr. Day (January 15) and International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day Auschwitz was liberated (January 27).


In recognition of these important dates, the Anne Frank Center USA—based out of New York City—is bringing their theatrical play to the Elgin area. Letters from Anne & Martin is a two-person play, which uses primary sources to elicit a conversation between Anne Frank and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Anne reads excerpts from her diary, and Martin from his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” highlighting the parallels between the written words and thinking of these two historical figures.


You can view the play’s trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z0JPA6_8Q8


In addition to the play, students will have time to explore the Spungen Foundation’s Holocaust exhibit: The Nazi Scourge. The exhibit features over 250 “witnesses,” consisting primarily of postal artifacts—post cards, letters, concentration camp mail, military scrip (money), ID cards, and more. All of our artifacts are enclosed in archival quality sleeves. This allows students the opportunity to pick up the items and hold history in their hands.


As a final highlight, students will also get to hear a Holocaust survivor speak and tell their story. The survivor will speak for about 50 minutes, with 10 minutes at the end for a short Q&A.


After performing in Elgin, the Anne Frank Center actors will bring their Letters from Anne and Martin play to Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, IL on Friday, January 26.


Carmel has been partnered with the Spungen Family Foundation ever since now-retired history teacher Jim Schuster met Danny Spungen in 2008. The first event held at Carmel was on February 6, 2009. This upcoming February 2024 will mark 15 years of collaboration, and in that time, the Foundation has exhibited the Holocaust Postal Collection many times at Carmel, and students of Jim’s have participated in the Foundation’s “Survivors Week” events, hosted at the Spungen home.


This will be the first time the Spungen Foundation has been back at Carmel since before Covid, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Letters from Anne and Martin with us. Carmel students will get to see the performance, followed by a Q&A with the actors.


For more information on these events, please contact Mikayla Hoppe: mikayla@spungenfoundation.org



Pictured: Actors Parish Bradley (left) and Rachel Griesinger (right) during a performance of Letters from Anne and Martin (courtesy of Anne Frank Center USA).



Date: January 23, 2024

Event Category: Events, News

Administrative Contact:
Carol Spungen

Holocaust Postal Collection::
Daniel Spungen: