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Virginia teachers learn WWII history from men who served

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- Educators from across Virginia gathered in Richmond to learn more about World War II from the people who were there. 

Local educators who aim to learn more about WWII were the ones in class today, learning from the experiences of two men who fought on opposite sides during the war. 

Heinz Briegel, a former German soldier, has called Richmond home for more than 50 years. 

"We both did our duty," said Briegel. 

Russell Scott, born and raised in Richmond, served on a B-25 in the Army Air Corps. 

"I have no enemies," Scott told 8News. 

Seven decades later, both sit on the same side of the table as they teach local educators about WWII. 

Pam Plahs teaches social studies at Swift Creek Middle School in Chesterfield. 

"I always walk away with something different, something new that I can bring back to my students," Plahs told 8News.

"I'm really giddy because this is actually great for me to hear both sides of the story and that's what I try to do with my students."

Panels like this allow Plahs to broaden her toolbox as a teacher. 

"We're doing more of what's called performance-based assessments this fits right in with that where students are going out and learning about it through looking at primary sources ya know such as having living primary sources here," Plahs said. 

Today's lecture was part of the "Teacher Institutes" at the Virginia War Memorial. 

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