Home Up Project Background Photo Metamorphosis Participation Response About Jeffrey Schrier Workshop Description Related Works


On behalf of the Board of Directors of Holocaust Museum Houston I would like to express my sincere appreciation to you for allowing the Museum to present such an exceptional exhibition to the Houston community. Viewer response was immediate and emotional. What a perfect exhibition to help fulfill our mission!

In the short two months that Wings of Witness at the Museum, over 3500 students embraced the unique opportunity to participate in the creation of the exhibition they came to view. To top that, during your week-long visit to Houston 800 additional students learned about the lessons of the Holocaust by working directly with you in hands-on workshops. Thank you for making it possible for the Museum to reach out to entirely new groups of visitors. The great scope of Wings of Witness required an amazing team of docents and volunteers, allowing the Museum to develop internship programs for high school and college students. Additionally, for the first time, elementary level students were able to take part in a tour of an age-appropriate exhibition. 

While Wings of Witness was on view, the Museum not only witnessed an increase in general visitorship, but also an increase in the impact of its exhibitions on visitors. This is most eloquently reflected in the enclosed visitor comments. 

Without the ingenuity and dedication of individuals like you, the Holocaust Museum Houston would not achieve its greatest successes. Our exhibitions play an integral role in reaching our goal to educate the community about the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust. Through Wings of Witness and its associated educational hands-on workshops, the Museum brought our community together in new and exciting ways. 

May you and your work continue to educate and inspire.

Susan Llanes
Interim Executive Director
Holocaust Museum Houston

On behalf of the Anti-Defamation League's Holocaust Education Committee I would like to thank you for your participation in our in-service workshop for educators, The Holocaust: Its Relevance for the 21st century.  Your presentation of Wings of Witness made the workshop more colorful, relevant and exciting for our participants. It provided the educators a powerful pedagogic tool to engage their students in artistic venues for learning about history.

Nothing can better attest to the success of your presentation then the teachers' personal comments. I have just completed the review of our program evaluations and I would like to share some participants' responses with you. An overwhelming majority of educators who completed the evaluations for the workshop rated your presentation as "Excellent" and found it useful for both their personal and students education.

The following are some anonymous comments by educators who completed the evaluations:

"Very interesting concept."

"It was a fabulous experience. I wish my school could participate."

"Great idea for earth science, recycling."

"Exciting and original work."

"Wonderful hands-on experience to put numbers of Holocaust victims in perspective."

"An excellent example of concrete concept versus abstract for children."

"I enjoyed being a part of history. Something I will be able to share with my students, children, and grandchildren."

Thank you again for your wonderful presentation. I look forward to working with you again, as we expand the workshop to other areas in Southern California. Best of luck to you as you bring this amazing project to completion.

Marjan M. Keypour
Assistant Director of the Anti-Defamation League
Los Angeles, California

New York City, JUNE 26, 2011
To Whom it May Concern,

The 7th grade English teachers at Lycee Français de New York and their students all eagerly awaited February 12, 2011, for on that day for the thirteenth consecutive year, Mr. Jeffrey Schrier presented his very uplifting WINGS of WITNESS program to our school.

A more educational, enriching and enlightening program will prove difficult to find! Wings of Witness is a tremendous educational tool which enables students, parents and teachers alike to establish and feel a human connection between themselves as 21st century citizens and the men, women and children who perished in the Holocaust. Through Mr. Schrier’s presentation, our 7th graders’ understanding of the forces at play during this pivotal historical period is expanded and deepened. By concretizing the sheer number of lost human lives, Mr. Schrier’s fundamental lesson emerges: tolerance must prevail. Since Mr. Schrier has been coming to our school, our 7th grade study of works such as Anne Frank and Night has become much more real and meaningful to our students.

Thirteen generations of Lycee Français students have had the irreplaceable opportunity to experience this very poignant program and will never forget its powerful message of hope in the human spirit. 

Catherine Pointelet Isaac
English Department
Lycee Français de New York

Loyola Marymount University
Department of English

I am a University Professor in Los Angeles who had the good fortune to discover the artist Jeffrey Schrier and his work, "Wings of Witness" in late January. I witnessed the pieces of the Holocaust memorial he is creating out of 11 million soda can tabs, and participated in a workshop he lead during my daughters religious school class. I knew immediately that this project was significant and timely enough to invite Mr. Schrier to my campus. We welcomed Mr. Schrier at Loyola Marymount in order to lead a workshop for our students.... Including all of the students in my "Tolerance in the Arts" course who had been reading about and discussing the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism all semester. For these students, and for the others, the experience - that is, the process of building the memorial together through the workshop - forged a connection to the murdered millions in the most profound way. Jeffrey Schrier offers a brilliant and moving presentation before and during the workshop that includes videos about the project's beginnings, photographs and other artifacts. Student comments during the presentation reflect how moving AND educational the experience was: "Not only does [the workshop] raise awareness about the Holocaust, but it also develops the idea that art reflects life"; and "This project is inspirational and I would encourage everyone to get involved through the workshops ... or stay informed about the project." I will be certain to keep in touch with Jeffrey in order to bring him back to our University, and to recommend his presentation/workshop to other educators at this University and elsewhere. 

Dr. Holli Levitsky

Associate Professor of English

Loyola Marymount University

Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Poland 2001-2

We were very pleased with our decision to invite Jeffery Schrier to conduct his Wings of Witness workshop at Ramaz in commemoration of Kristallnacht. Students found both his remarks and style compelling and were impressed with the imaginativeness and colossal nature of the project. They were quite pleased to be part of a venture, which allowed them to participate with so many other people in doing something concrete to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust. As one seventh grader wrote:

At first I thought that making the Wings of Witness sculpture was just fun, but then I realized that each silly soda can tab stood for a lost and murdered soul that was innocent but was killed because of hate and racism. I am happy to know that so many people are now working together to make a memorial for these lost souls.

We applaud Mr. Schrier's ingenuity and the sincerity with which he communicates with students. We support his efforts and hope that  others will as well.

Deedee Benel, Educational Director-Upper School
Judy Sokolow, Educational programming-Junior High School
RAMAZ - The Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Upper School
New York City, New York

From: Robert E. Bell School
         Chappaqua, New York

Jeffrey Schrier's recent presentation was a resounding success. His work "Wings Of Witness" is a tribute to the 11 million people who lost their lives during the Nazi occupation of Europe during World War II.

Mr. Schrier's opening statements captures the pain and suffering of the victims of this time, and in a sense he conjures up those lost spirits and gives them a voice. Our students were engaged throughout this part of the presentation. However, the real power of the presentation lies in the opportunity for our students to create a work of art that  commemorates the victims of the pogrom. The concept of phylogenic responsibility runs throughout the activity.

Additionally, our school's themes of "Community, Leadership, and Respect" were both implicitly and explicitly expressed throughout the presentation. I heartily recommend this assembly to any school that is interested

Martin Fitzgerald, Assistant Principal

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Student Letters

These are letters written by students who participated in the Wings Of Witness Workshops

When you came on Friday because of the "Wings of Witness" program, you made me think about how racism is a bad thing. You made me think about how many innocent people died, especially innocent little children. You made me think about my own future. After September 11, many people in this country blamed the entire Muslim population for the hideous act of a few terrorists who happened to be Muslim. These men also killed innocent people. It is a shame that humanity did not learn enough from the Holocaust to prevent September 11 from happening. As a Muslim person, I am ashamed of the terrorists who caused suffering to thousands of people. Therefore, I could relate to what you told us about the Holocaust because I felt the pain and suffering of the children who experienced a tragedy at such a young age. Thank you for your contribution to achieve understanding between the people who happen to be different from one another. Keep up the good work.

7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, New York 

Last week, a man named Mr. Schrier came to our school. He wanted us to help him make butterfly shaped wings for a Holocaust memorial made out of 6 million pop-tops. He was going around the country asking other kids do the same thing.

I felt that his was important to me because my grandfather was in Auschwitz for four months before the war ended. Except for him, his entire family was killed. Murdered. I dedicated every single pop-top I used to every single member of my grandfather's family who died there. On Friday, I will bring in translated postcards from Vienna, Austria in 1938

John Paul Courtney, 7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School

See John Paul's Memorial to his Grandfather who survived three concentration camps and to his other family members destroyed by the Nazis.

I think Mr. Schrier's idea with the feathers made out of soda can tabs was very creative. It was a really good way for him to connect with our history and abused ancestors. I liked it because he took something that we use, see, and throw away in everyday life, and turned it into a historic monument. It might not have meant much to many, but for others it was a historical symbol. It seems like it's going to take a lot of time, community participation, and a lot of hard work to compete the butterfly. To make it into a butterfly was a very interesting idea. He takes the story about the Spanish Ghetto and turns it into a very interesting, sad story. It is good that he acted upon the acts of the Holocaust and let everybody take part in it to help him out. Everybody seemed so willing and caring to help him out. And I finally realized how many people were killed during the tragedy. I can't and don't even want to imagine if each cap was the size of an adult how big the butterfly would be. I don't think that I'll ever forget what he did for everybody. I hope that one day, I'll actually see his work art, the butterfly. I will be able to tell my children or grandchildren that I helped him with that piece of work. 

7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, New York 

Dear Mr. Jeffrey Schrier,
I would just like to thank you for giving up your time to talk to me about the holocaust. I think what you are trying to accomplish is so wonderful. Because if we were to look at something like the butterfly every day we would be reminded of the holocaust and the horrible things Adolph Hitler tried to accomplish. If we were reminded of these horrible things he did every day then the chances of something like this happening again would be really rear. I also think that not that many people would try to honor the Jews like you are. So I think you are one of god's angels because you are helping out gods chosen people. The experience with the wings of witness helped me understand better how many people actually died and how horrible it was, because I used to think Hitler was a genius but now I think he is a lame. Thank you again.
Sincerely, Student, Rio Contiguo School


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Student Memorials, Poetry, Art

These are student responses inspired by participation in the Wings Of Witness program

John Paul Courtney's Memorial - Pierre Van Cortland Middle School
Sofie H's Memorial  - Robert E. Bell Middle School
Student Art & Poetry






A Tribute to my Ancestors And 6 Million Others Who Died in the Holocaust


By John Paul Courtney


John's family provided this photo of Karel Frohlich, below, for this memorial presentation. 




My Grandfather

Karel Frohlich, Czech violinist 1917-1994
He was the only member of his immediate and extended family in Europe to survive the Holocaust. He survived Terezin, Buchenwald, and Auschwitz camps. He met my Grandmother, a pianist, in Paris after the war and they arrived in the US in 1948


This 1948 article describes my Grandfather's wartime ordeal and his survival



My Great-Grandmother

Rosa Frohlich 1887-1941
Widowed in 1933.
My Great-Grandmother was gassed and cremated in 1941 at Auschwitz



This is a postcard sent to my Great-grandmother from her Cousin Irma. It describes conditions for the Jews in Vienna in 1938



Click Here to Read Post Card Translation


My Great-Uncle

Paul Hans Frohlich 1920-1941
Younger brother to Karel.
He went to Auschwitz and died of Typhoid fever in 1941



My great-Uncle wrote this letter to Florence, his American cousin, in 1939. He hoped to come to the US soon but was deported to Auschwitz a year later and died in 1941



John's family provided this photo of Karel Frohlich, center, for this memorial presentation. 

"Inmates of the notorious 'model' concentration camp at Terezin perform in the 1944 Nazi propaganda film 'The Fuhrer Gives The Jews A City' "



Sofie H - Robert E. Bell Middle School

Memorycandle2.jpg (38817 bytes)

This is my memorial to the victims of the Holocaust

I cannot relate to the horrors they went through. I cannot tell them that everything is going to be all right. I do not have enough tears for all the victims that died and for all the tragedies the survivors had to live through. I cannot let the memories of the Holocaust get lost in time. That is way it is important to remind the world that the terror they went through should never be repeated. That is why I am making this memorial, for the victims of the Holocaust and for their stories, which should never be forgotten.

The circular box represents how the world is connected. The Holocaust was a worldwide affair, a timeless tragedy, which could only be represented by a circle. Just as the circle never ends, so the memory of the Holocaust must continue forever, to remind people all over the world that this appalling nightmare can never be repeated.

The outside of the box is decorated with around one hundred names of victims of the Holocaust. Some of these people survived the Holocaust; some of those are alive today. But most of these names are of children who died in the Holocaust.

I used blue tissue paper and white printer paper because blue and white are the colors of the Israeli flag. Yellow is the color of the star the Jews had to wear in the ghetto.

When you look at this memorial you will see the sand, which represents the multitudes of people who were affected by the Holocaust. The uncountable grains of sand represent each of the eleven million who perished, the six million Jews and the five million other minorities. There is also sand for every man and woman who helped save the life of a victim of the Holocaust, for every man or woman who died in battle trying to overpower the Nazis, for every person who sat by the radio in the safety of their own home with tears in their eyes, because all they could do was have faith and pray.

The mirror gives us, the world, the chance to reflect on our actions, to reflect on the death of the millions of lives that were brutally murdered. It reminds us that we should not only be looking at ourselves on the surface but inside us as well. The mirror gives us a chance to improve on what we see reflected for the future, not only our appearance but also our behavior.

But this mirror is shattered.

The mirror is shattered to represent the eleven million slaughtered humans whose lives were "shattered" because of their race and religion. The mirror is shattered into seven pieces, the seven days of creation, which gives us hope. We can recreate the world, and work to rebuild a global community based on acceptance and peace, not hatred.

The candle is a symbol for the human race. A candle is like human life, it breathes oxygen, lives and dies. The candle is also a way to mourn for the dead in the Jewish religion. When a family member dies a candle burns for 24 hours. This candle won’t burn for 24 hours, but it will be our way of mourning for the people who died during the Holocaust.

My generation is the last generation to be able to hear first hand the stories of survivors. It is important that we are educated to pass on the memories of these terrible years.



Student Art & Poetry

This is a selection of student responses, in the form of poetry and art work, to their participation in the Wings Of Witness program.

Another View

They all line up, 
helpless and weak.
But I am as helpless as they are.
My commander yells, "Fire"
and I shoot.
I know that it is wrong,
but I do not know right. 
I have been taught to hate. 
I cannot bear their screams,
but I do not know their pain. 
And yet, I shoot on
I must.
Looking into their eyes,
I cannot help to care,
to feel,
to cry.
Looking at my commander,
I know that it must be my fate.
I am here, 
and doing this for a reason.
A reason that I do not know or understand.

(7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, NY)

The Last Smile

The dirty train,
The dirty camp,
No blue sky today,
Not a smile,
A last smile,
to cheer me up today. 

The line of judgment,
The line of fate,
The line of hope and despair,
Line one to life,
Line two to death,
But both leading to despair.

It's my time,
To meet my fate,
Whether I live or die,
He looks at me,
"Line two!" he says,
It's my time to die.

The dirty train,
The dirty camp,
No blue sky that I can see,
The man gives me a smile,
And he knows this smile,
Is the last one that I'll see. 

(7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, NY)


So many skeletons walk in the fenced-in area.
Their pale skin outlines the bones that are longing to crack. 
Something is missing from this bone yard. Food. 
They walk stiffly, strange, like mummies. 
Dried of a soul and heart cut out. 
Their spirit will always try to float to the after-life--if there is any. 
Soon they will die, one by one, slowly and painfully.
Hatred sneaks up with its club of spikes 
and smashes their weak bodies to the ground. 
While the men, fat and full, sit in their offices and give commands 
as they chew on a chicken bone and smile at their progress

(7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, NY)


I slowly crawl to get my food.
I am weak and tired,
but I will still get my food. 
I hide in fear,
waiting for fiends to go on their way. 
But I will still get my food.
It is closer now. 
I can rest now.
A well-deserved rest.
When I wake up,
you can find me in the sky with the birds.
I am now a butterfly. 

(7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, NY)

Wings of Witness

I don't know how you feel.
I don't think I ever will.
What you went through,
I could never compare.
But to show you my love and compassion,
and to let you know I'm always here,
I have made this for you.
A butterfly with wings of love.
May all the hard times and struggle
be swept away. 
I wish I could've helped you. 
But now I never will.
All I can do is pray,
And love you till the end of time. 

(7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, NY)

On Wings of A Butterfly

On wings of a butterfly,
We all can be saved,
Soaring freely into the sunlight.
On wings of a butterfly,
We all are safe,
Flying with the wind.
On wings of a butterfly,
We will all have helped,
And we will have come together,
On wings of a butterfly

(7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, NY)

The Dark Side of The Butterfly

Here it comes, flying straight and true, on a gentle breeze,
 heading for you , colorful and pretty , yet ugly at the same time,
  who made it that way you think, but still it
 looks just fine,
 as it comes toward you, it looks like a picture you once drew,
 but yet it is not perfect, as its drifts by, you realize
 that you are seeing the dark side of the butterfly

(7th Grade Student, Pierre Van Cortland Middle School, NY)

Who Will Remember

by Michael M.

This train flies by through the cold dark air.
This train swiftly flies by, and yet I know not where.
    I am cold, and cannot breath
as death reveals his frosty seath.
    I stand in the dark as this train flies
by. And suddenly I begin to cry,
for I know not where I'm going
    Suddenly some light, I know not where,
then comes much mist through the air.
    As I walk down below, I suddenly
know, that this is the end.
But who will remember me when I die,
Who is left to shed a tear and cry.
"So young did this martyr die"

What We Can't Imagine

What we can't imagine,
Is what these people went through,
The death of millions of uncounted people.
But the wings of those still remain,
Only because they left them to stand proud.
They didn't fly away
Even though they were able to.
Their wings could take them anywhere until,
Until the hawks
They came and killed,
Never tired and never full,
They killed them all
Making race such a small amount,
They thought of nothing else.
The wings come back,
The wings of love
The wings of death
The wings of witness.

Children's art 1.jpg (39311 bytes)


Wings of Witness is its name,
Recognizing tragedy is its game.
Holocaust victims are relieved to know,
That you and I are not the foe.
The massive wings are meant to be,
Dominant symbols of liberty.
The soda tabs, so trivial and small,
Are clear cut symbols of those who fall.
Jeffrey Schrier and students of North,
Would love to help, our love we put forth,.
This enlightening work of art,
Will help to heal our wounded heart.
For those who were slain in times of death,
Our heart go to you, every breath, every breath

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Some deserted their families
Others were taken away
But the thing that remains
Is the proof of those that say
"He killed 6 million Jews
But he left me here to break to you the news."


One mark will not perish,
One cannot be forgotten,
Such a deep wound left behind,
    Remains to remind,
Of the lives taken,
Of the families broken,
Of the children that never received their chance,
    To remind us,
Of the senseless acts of hate,
Of the resentment,
Of the bloodshed of our fellow men.

    The child that falls will bleed.
    A scar formed,
        Reminds him,
Of the incident that caused it,
The incident that hurt him.
Will this child repeat the fall?
He will see the scar,
Learn never to repeat his mistake.

One man has uncovered a scar,
Brought it out,
For all to see.
For all to learn from.

Let us all remember what scarred our world,
The mistake made.
Let us know not to repeat it.
We will see the scar,
And we will remember.
    Remember the killngs,
    Remember the lives,
    Remember the prejudice,
    Remember this scar, 
        As the Holocaust.
This man has told us of the scar.
He remembers.
He is one who is not afraid.
One who will not ignore,
One who will not pretend it didn't happen,
One who will remember the mistake.
One who will expose this scar so all can see.

Wings of Witness,
Teach us,
Tell us,
Of the scar.
So we will remember,
Not repeat the mistake.
Let us live in harmony,
Wings of Witness,
And tell your story to the world

Children's art3.jpg (37148 bytes)

The feather and the wing

As the gun barrels surrounded them
The wings came swooping low
He handed out fake passports
Which let the people go.

As the people went
The guns don't shoot
The people say great thanks to you.

They are now free
And so are we
We thank you for your heroism.

And so tonight with sculptor Jeffrey Schrier
We learned to build a feather.

The feathers are made from eleven million soda tabs
But the true thing is
Each tab holds eleven million peoples souls.

To them let us hope they did not die in vain,
Because they lost their lives
From a man that was insane.

The wings that helped them fly away
We helped to build tonight.
With G-ds help and peace will let their spirits rest

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