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Final Holocaust Project Fair for Wangberg

Pine River-Backus eighth grade teacher Lynn Wangberg lead her final Holocaust Project Fair on March 5. Wangberg is scheduled to retire at the completion of the 2014-2015 school year, but before she goes, she got one more chance to teach a unit on...

Gracie Rivers proudly displayed a flag, purple heart, and other artifacts regarding her great grandfather Gordon Lindholm's service in WWII. Lindholm was a navagator for a bomber that was shot down during the war. Photo by Travis Grimler
Gracie Rivers proudly displayed a flag, purple heart, and other artifacts regarding her great grandfather Gordon Lindholm's service in WWII. Lindholm was a navagator for a bomber that was shot down during the war. Photo by Travis Grimler

Pine River-Backus eighth grade teacher Lynn Wangberg lead her final Holocaust Project Fair on March 5.

Wangberg is scheduled to retire at the completion of the 2014-2015 school year, but before she goes, she got one more chance to teach a unit on the Holocaust.

"This, by far, has been my most favorite unit I have ever done," Wangberg said.

Wangberg said it all began between five and eight years ago when she was teaching a lesson on Anne Frank, and decided that her students didn't know enough about the background of Frank's diary, so she began teaching about the Holocaust in conjunction with reading the play.

"It started as just a project, and then it went to the three fold board like a science fair, and finally it blossomed into this incredible project oriented affair," Wangberg said.

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The Holocaust Project Fair has since hosted imaginative displays from half a dozen different eighth grade classes, including models of underground bunkers, personal family histories, chamber choir performances and an entire gymnasium full of Holocaust era history.

This year's fair included an impressive reproduction of Omaha Beach by Travis Tschida, a model of a Nazi Concentration Camp by Alexandra Hoopman, and even an account of the death of Gordon G. Lindstrom, great grandfather to student Gracie Rivers.

"He was a navigator to a B-17 Airplane," Rivers said. "There is a picture on my board that is an actual picture of the plane actually getting shot. The right wing was actually hit by enemy flak, so he would have been one of the first people to die."

Rivers' presentation also included a model of a B-17, Linstrom's purple heart and the 48 star flag presented to his family after his death.

Like Rivers, many of Wangberg's students put more than time into their presentations, which is why the event could continue even after Wangberg has left the school.

"I'm not sure how the new teacher will handle it, but we absolutely want this project to continue in the future," Wangberg said.

Wangberg's retirement isn't effective until the end of the school year. More information will be available closer to that date.

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Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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