Author visits Lecanto High to call attention to the legacy of WWII

Roselyn Franken giving presentation of the legacy her parents left behind (photo: Sabrina Parente)

Roslyn Franken speaks to LHS students and staff about her parents (Photo: Sabrina Parente).

Kevin Ceballos, Editor – Monday, October 21, Lecanto High School [LHS] had a guest speaker visit to talk to the sophomore and junior classes in the Curtis Peterson Auditorium [CPA]. Roslyn Franken, the author of Meant to Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit, spoke to students about her parents living through WWII [World War 2], her mother having been a victim of the Holocaust and her father, a prisoner of war.

With the time period being an important part of LHS’ history curriculum, dean of students Richard Crowley believes that the intention of the presentation was ultimately achieved.

”One of the goals is that WWII and the Holocaust is apart of social studies standards, so we wanted to address those standards. Another goal was to give the students motivation of what everyone is going through and [remind them that] you can still achieve great things if you just never give up,” said Crowley.

Many students felt that the story of Franken’s parents was uplifting. Attendees were able to imagine the situation in a different point of view and put themselves into the shoes of the victims.

”I was inspired by the stories she told and it makes me want to fight for what I believe [even] more. There is always a reason to fight and if you failed, at least you know you tried your absolute hardest,” said junior Ethan Alt.

Other students found that hearing Franken tell of her parents’ first-hand experience was engaging and allowed them to better understand history.

”I find history very interesting, but I would’ve always liked to learn [about] more personal experiences. The only person of interest I’ve learned about during that time frame is Anne Frank,” said sophomore Kathryn Sumner. “But when the speaker spoke, it was really interesting to see these two people let fate take control of their lives.”

Teachers also attended the event and found themselves learning new things that they didn’t know along with their students.

”I found it very interesting that the author’s mom survived three gas chambers, went through eleven concentration camps, and that her dad survived the Hiroshima bombing,” said English teacher David Breidenbaugh. “It proved that there are things that happen that can change your life, even if it’s a simple change of mind.”