Each stamp collected by the students symbolizes “one wasted life, ‘thrown away’ as having no value, much the same way as an envelope bearing a cancelled stamp postage stamp is tossed in the trash,” according to the school’s website.
The Holocaust Stamps Project began in 2009 as a component of community service learning at FRCS. The goal was to collect 11 million stamps, and as of Sept. 29, 2017, students had counted their 11,011,979th stamp.
“It is a unique educational initiative that provides opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of how important it is to demonstrate acceptance, tolerance, and respect for diversity in their own daily lives,” according to the school.
11 MILLION CANCELLED STAMPS
A total of 11 million stamps was chosen to symbolize every victim of the Holocaust. Students and community volunteers were busy trimming and counting the thousands of stamps that arrived daily from around the world in the past nine years.
“The wide range of themes depicted – people, world history, places, flora and fauna, inventions, ideas, and values – leads to discussions about what makes our diverse world so special,” according to the school.
“Eleven million is an unfathomable number. One and a half million were children. Six million were European Jews. An additional five million people were killed for being “different” or resisting the seemingly endless acts of disrespect, prejudice, discrimination, and cruelty by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime during World War II.”
Students from kindergarten to grade 12 collected the stamps one at a time to “help them gain an understanding of the significance of that many people having had their lives taken.”
Participants also learned how “one man’s intolerance and prejudice resulted in the annihilation of so many innocent victims from 21 European countries.”
Altogether, the project received donations from 48 states, plus Washington D.C., and 24 countries from around the world.
“The HSP sincerely thanks all who have contributed stamps over the past nine years.”