Yael is in the 7th grade. In Missouri, this means looking at the Shoah (Holocaust). This is of course done in English class by reading "Anne Frank". Why is a major world event not part of Social Studies? Got me.
We have more than a few books on the Shoah in our house. Here is a quick synopsis for Yael and her class.
Grave Marker for Jacob & Fela Igielnik
OK, this is not in our house but is in Beth Hamedrosh HaGodol Cemetary on Ladue Road. The Igielniks are represntative of many Shoah survivors, people who had no remaining realatives.
The Last Artwork by Henry Changar
Henry is Yael's cousin and a Holocaust survivor. He survived by having false papers showing him to be a Polish Catholic. At the end of the war he was slave labor in a coal mine in Norway. In 1947 he came to America. His testimony is archived at the United States Holocaust Museum but is not available for download. It may also be available at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center. Like many families of Holocaust survivors, Henry's children never had grandparents or uncles on one side of their family.
The Journey That Saved Curious George
An excellent book for younger children. H.A. and Margret Rey were Jewish.They bicycled from Paris ahead of the NAZIs. Told in a genlte and not scary way.A facinating story.
I Never Saw Another Butterfly
A collection of poems and drawings from the children of Theresienstadt.
Our copy is on loan from Grandma.
I Never Saw Another ButterflyBetween the years 1942-1944, about 15,000 children were incarcerated at various times in the Terezin [or Theresienstadt] Concentration Camp, just outside of Prague. This camp was promoted as the 'ideal' camp by the Nazis, who used it as a cover-up for their brutalities in other camps, such as the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dachau, Majdanek, Sobibor, etc. The Nazis were so successful in their propaganda efforts that even the Red Cross was hoodwinked into believing that conditions in the camp were exemplary, and that inmates flourished here. The reality was far from the truth as conditions were terrible - starvation and diseases flourished, and the inhabitants were merely biding their time before being shipped off to the camps in the east for extermination. A powerful and moving book.
For comparison, The Muny seats just under 11,000, Scotttrade seats 19,000 for Hockey.
The title comes from this poem.
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone....
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ’way up high.
It went away I’m sure
because it wished
to kiss the world good-bye.
For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto.
Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942
Born in Prague on Jan. 7, 1921.
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942.
Died in Aushchwitz on Sept. 29, 1944.
The World Must Know
The World Must KnpwPublished to mark the occasion of the April 1993 opening of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the museum project director, has written a lucid, sweeping, but not superficial historical overview of the Holocaust. Replacing a typical museum catalog, which ordinarily lauds its museum's artifacts, this book uses them to tell the awful story to which the institution is dedicated. Utilizing the museum's photographs, oral histories, and other documents, Berenbaum synthesizes an enormous quantity of material, organizing it coherently to show the gradual evolution of the war against the Jews from the perspectives of the victims, perpetrators, and bystanders, while dealing with the fundamental themes of the Jewish experience. Visually evocative and unsettling, the book, supplemented with a useful bibliography, is an excellent choice for those who are not well acquainted with the subject or who need a concise synopsis.
The Precious Legacy: Judaic Treasures from the Czechoslovak State Collection
The Precious Legacy NAZI Germany collected material from communities and synagogues as they "cleansed" Europe. The plan was for a the Prauge synagogue to be turned into the "Museum of Extinct Peoples". This is the catalog of that collection from when it toured in 1983.
NOTE: The St. Louis Art Museum had an opportunity to host the tour in 1983-84. The St. Louis Jewish Community was told the museum did not have the funds for the exhibit. Less than six months later the museum had funds for the "Treasures of the Vatican" exhibit.
Maus Volumes I and II
Maus is a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman. It depicts Spiegleman's father's expiriences during the Shoah. A good book for YA readers.
Letters from Nuremberg: My Father's Narrative of a Quest for Justice by Christopher Dodd and Lary Bloom
Senator Chris Dodd's father, Thomas Dodd was a junior attorney at the Nuremberg Trials. He wrote home to his wife almost every day. This is a collection of the letters. The letters cover the trials planning stages and the creation of a court to hear the cases and the creation of Crimes Against Humanity and the coining of a new word: Genocide.
Dodd's letters also cover how the trial was going badly until what had been a trail of numbers and reports became a personal testimony of the Final Solution.
Bob Horn, a barber in South St. Louis was a guard at the Nuremberg Trials.
These books are on a higher reading level than the others.
IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black
IBM and the HolocaustA somewhat contriversial book, Black makes the case that IBM in the United States supplied IBM-Germany with the punch cards nessassary to run the NAZI rail system. In the 1920's Germany computerized rail service, making German trains the most efficent and best run on the planet. The computers used punch cards and each card could only be used a single time, requiring thousands of cards to run the comptuers. The cards needed to be punched on very special paper. Paper only made in the US and only sold by IBM.
A more recent article from the Huffington Post.
Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust By Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
Hitler's Willing ExecutionersGoldhagen puts forth that ordinary Germans willingly and volunarily aided the NAZIs in the extermination of the Jews. He provides data that serving in the SS Death Squads was voluntary and a sought after position and that there were not consequences for not signing up or for leaving.
This position is contrary to the German goverment's position.
This book is a doctoral disertation with more than 200 pages of notes and a huge bibliography. It is not easy reading.