Some Days Make it all Worthwhile


Danish boat at Mystic Seaport, CT

On January 12th, Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, Senior Associate Director of the Anti-Defamation League in the Connecticut Region, led an Echoes and Reflections program for 24 teachers In New London, Connecticut. “A survivor was scheduled to speak but unfortunately had pneumonia,” she shared. “I found this out Tuesday afternoon and worked desperately to find another survivor to speak. There are no more survivors in that part of the state so I reached out to Gisela Adamski, a survivor from Hartford.”

After the program, Lipshez-Shapiro received a message from one of the teachers that participated that she said, “made it all worthwhile.” 

“Thank you again for providing such a wonderful learning experience.  I feel like a novice, though I have attended the conference three times now. I had no idea that a Danish fishing vessel used to rescue Jews is at Mystic Seaport. I told the kids and they couldn’t believe it.

Although I am currently teaching the Civil War, I stopped and discussed the conference on Friday and today with my students. We actually watched Gisela’s Legacy today. Everyone noticed that it was her birthday and as it happens it was one of my students’ birthday too.

I thought Gisela might enjoy hearing some of the comments from the kids:

  • One little thing can turn into something big if people are silent
  • Never stay quiet about a hurtful situation – speak out, especially for those who cannot speak for themselves
  • I learned so much from Gisela and if I ever hear someone say the Holocaust didn’t happen I will tell them about her story. She is such an incredible person for everything that she has done. She didn’t forgive them for what they did but she doesn’t hate them and for that she is remarkable. I hope to be exactly like Gisela.
  • If we all stand up for the person or race being attacked, we can stop the Hate before it happens.
  • Gisela – Happy Birthday! I think it is truly amazing how strong, brave, and determined you are. Your story amazed me, and inspired me to make a difference and appreciate everything I have. You taught us how important it is to stand up for everything – right before it gets out of hand. I hope your story gets out to more people because they will open their eyes to what is really important in life.

Please thank Gisela again for sharing her story and know that there are 90+ young witnesses that admire her bravery and how she lives her life with dignity, discipline, and grace.

Take care,

MaryBeth, East Lyme Middle School

Thank you to Marji, Gisela, MaryBeth and her students for making it all worthwhile.