It’s Thursday afternoon and I just finished my last day of school for this week. Tomorrow, our team of 18 wonderful cast and crew members will be traveling to the last two Pittsburgh-area schools on our list, and guess what? One of them is mine! I couldn’t be more ecstatic to share your story with my peers at Upper St. Clair High School. For the last two weeks, I’ve been carrying a pile of sign-up sheets in my backpack and passing them out with pride to many of my friends and classmates. Every time someone took a permission slip expressing interest, I tingled with excitement. (I know it’s cheesy, but it’s very true!)
I have admired you and your story ever since I first read the description of Letters to Sala. Volunteering to go to a labor camp in your older sister’s place? Your bravery (at sixteen years old, and overall) leaves me speechless. When Little Lake Theatre first performed Letters to Sala last Fall, I got to know you through my portrayal of three different people, each of whom impacted your life in the camps (and long after that): Frymka Rabinowicz, Elfriede Pache and Gucia Gutman. For this tour, I am honored to have the opportunity to actually tell your story through your perspective, and I can only hope I am doing it justice. My favorite part of this whole experience has been getting to meet many new people who share my immense respect for you, whether they are members of the cast, representatives from Classrooms Without Borders (the generous and selfless individuals who made this tour possible), or the students at each school who are hearing your story for the first time. Every new face I encounter fills me with joy as I know they will take something away from this experience. I know I have.
It’s a weird feeling to know that tomorrow is our last school tour day. After that, we will have our final two performances at Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, and then we will finish our tour. What we will not finish, however, is the telling of your story and the spreading of Holocaust awareness. We as a generation must work to make sure this time in our history never repeats itself. We will not be silent. Thank you for not giving up; you are a hero in my eyes.
Love, Carly DeCock (Young Sala)