CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Roughly 39 educators from Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina boarded buses Wednesday to travel to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
The trip is an effort to draw important lessons from the Holocaust in order to teach students about diversity, tolerance, and bullying.
"These teachers are the first line of defense coming to their classroom so no child feels scared or threatened," said Mitch Rifkin, a trip organizer. "Hatred is a universal thing. It has no faith, has no color. It's just hatred."
The trip was sponsored by the North Carolina Holocaust Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, and the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice and Philanthropy.
"The best way to slow it down, try to eradicate it, is to teach," said Stan Greenspon.
Organizers said the trip is important. Recent polls conducted by the Claims Conference found millennials do not know as much as they should about the horrors of the Holocaust.
The Claims Conference found 66% could not identify Auschwitz, one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
"Do I think it can happen again? I pray no. But there are deniers that the Holocaust ever happened. We have to teach the children and bring an awareness over and over," added Rifkin.
More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. The Memorial Museum provides lesson plans for teachers to use in classrooms.