Holocaust Education Week is November 2nd to November 9th (https://www.holocaustcentre.com/upcoming-events/neuberger-hew-2020) and is a great opportunity for you to develop your understanding of the Holocaust. Check out some of the following YA works, available digitally or in-print, to learn more:
The five diarists in this book did not survive the war. But their words did. Each diary reveals one voice, one teenager coping with the impossible. We see David Rubinowicz struggling against fear and terror. Yitzhak Rudashevski shows us how Jews clung to culture, to learning, and to hope, until there was no hope at all. Moshe Ze’ev Flinker is the voice of religion, constantly seeking answers from God for relentless tragedy. Eva Heyman demonstrates the unquenchable hunger for life that sustained her until the very last moment. And finally, Anne Frank reveals the largest truth they all left for us: Hitler could kill millions, but he could not destroy the human spirit. These stark accounts of how five young people faced the worst of human evil are a testament, and an inspiration, to the best of the human soul.
Hitler Youth : growing up in Hitler’s shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
By the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth. It would become the largest youth group in history. Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany’s young people. Her research includes telling interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members.
In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany–Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Six weeks later he was sent home; ashes in an urn.
Soon another letter arrived. “The Gestapo has notified your brothers and me that we are to be deported to the East–whatever that means.” Hannelore knew: labor camps, starvation, beatings…How could Mama and her two younger brothers bear that? She made a decision: She would go home and be deported with her family. Despite the horrors she faced in eight labor and concentration camps, Hannelore met and fell in love with a Polish POW named Dick Hillman.
Oskar Schindler was their one hope to survive. Schindler had a plan to take eleven hundred Jews to the safety of his new factory in Czechoslovakia. Incredibly both she and Dick were added to his list. But survival was not that simple. Weeks later Hannelore found herself, alone, outside the gates of Auschwitz, pushed toward the smoking crematoria.
I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree is the remarkable true story of one young woman’s nightmarish coming-of-age. But it is also a story about the surprising possibilities for hope and love in one of history’s most Z brutal times.
Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington
A history of the persecution of gay men by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. When the Nazis came to power in Europe, the lives of homosexuals came to be ruled by fear as raids, arrests, prison sentences and expulsions became the daily reality. When the concentration camps were built, homosexuals were imprisoned along with Jews. The pink triangle, sewn onto prison uniforms, became the symbol of their persecution. This book combines historical research with first-person accounts and individual stories to bring this time to life for readers. From the first chapter, with its story of a young Jewish girl who was rescued from the depths of despair and starvation in the camps by a fellow prisoner who wore the pink triangle, to the last, entitled It Gets Better, which outlines the strides forward in gay rights made in the decades since the war, the feeling of bravery and perseverance in the face of inhuman cruelty shines through.
In 1941 in occupied Paris, brothers Maurice and Joseph play a last game of marbles before running home to their father’s barbershop. This is the day that will change their lives forever. With the German occupation threatening their family’s safety, the boys’ parents decide Maurice and Joseph must disguise themselves and flee to their older brothers in the free zone. Surviving the long journey will take every scrap of ingenuity and courage they can muster. And if they hope to elude the Nazis, they must never, under any circumstances, admit to being Jewish. The boys travel by train, by ferry, and on foot, facing threats from strangers and receiving help from unexpected quarters. Along the way they must adapt to the unfamiliar world beyond their city-and find a way to be true to themselves even as they conceal their identities. Based on an autobiographical novel by Joseph Joffo and adapted with the author’s input, this true story offers a harrowing but inspiring glimpse of a childhood cut short.
We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust by Rafael Medoff, Neal Adams, Craig Yoe
An amazing but forgotten chapter in comics history. Long before the Holocaust was taught in schools or presented in films such as Schindler’s List, the youth of America was learning about the Nazi genocide from Batman, the X-Men, Captain America, and Sgt. Rock. Comics legend Neal Adams, Holocaust scholar Rafael Medoff, and comics historian Craig Yoe bring together a remarkable collection of comic book stories that introduced an entire generation to an engaging and important subject. We Spoke Out is an extraordinary journey into a compelling and essential topic.