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Lincoln County High School students listen as Holocaust survivor Lily Perry, shown on video screen, shares her remarkable story.

Most high school students have read about the Holocaust. But it’s not every day students get to meet a Holocaust survivor and learn first-hand about one of history’s darkest moments.

Nearly 200 students from Lincoln County High School were at The Center for Rural Development on Wednesday to view a live, interactive videoconference with Holocaust survivor Lily Perry.

Perry, a native of Vienna, Austria, shared her story with students in a videoconference link from the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove, New York.

The students, who watched on a large video screen in The Center’s theatre, learned what it was like for Perry and her family to survive the Holocaust.

When she was 10 years old, Hitler annexed Austria to Germany and, with that event, the course of her family’s life changed forever. Before the annexation, Perry’s family had gentile friends and neighbors; they were part of the Austrian community. Lily loved dogs and enjoyed school. Her father owned a store.

With the annexation, Jewish neighbors were humiliated, arrested, and sent to concentration camps. Eventually, her father lost his store. The family sought to escape Austria. They planned to go to Shanghai, but were able to gain admittance to the United States.

They arrived here in 1939, but many relatives were unable to escape and perished during the Holocaust. Lily’s husband was also a survivor. He endured the Dachau camp. The couple met after the war and settled in the United States, where they built a family and new life.

The videoconference was provided by The Center’s CenterNET2 videoconferencing network. CenterNET2 is a national leader in videoconferencing transmission technology supplying content on demand to all Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) campuses and other content provider partners.