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May 6, 2005

Holocaust Remembrance Day

by Emma Norvell, Page Editor and Grace Harter, Page Editor
Silver Chips Online presents ways to commemorate one of history's most tragic events.

Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the Holocaust on May 5. All over the world people read poems, speeches or kept the victims of the Holocaust in their thoughts to remember this tragic event. For those of you wishing to remember the Holocaust or learn more about the event, Silver Chips Online has included a brief history and a list of related museum exhibits, movies and books in this article.

The Holocaust is generally considered to have started in 1941 with the creation of Auschwitz, a concentration camp, and ended in 1945 with the end of World War II. However, Nazis had begun mass killings in the 1930s as they began to exterminate mentally and physically handicapped people in pursuit of a master race. They killed large numbers of Jewish people and people commonly known as gypsies by shooting them in open field or mass executing them.

The start of the Holocaust marks the start of methodical, efficient mass killings in which Nazis specially created gas chambers and work camps to literally work their prisoners to death. By the end of the Holocaust and World War II, six million Jews had been slaughtered by the Nazis, including one and a half million children.

To learn more about the Holocaust, there are a variety of exhibits, books, websites and films that are easily accessible for students. Silver Chips Online has compiled a list for your convenience.

Museum Exhibits


The Holocaust Museum in D.C. has quite a few exhibits of interest to high school students. They include:

Schindler: This is the story of Oskar Shindler, also the subject of the famous film "Schindler's List." Schindler was responsible for saving the lives of over 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust when they worked in his factory and received far better treatment than the Nazi labor camps. When he located his factory, he was able to take all of his workers with him to safety.

Remember the Children: Daniel's Story: This exhibit is told from the perspective of a young Jewish boy during the Holocaust as he witnesses the Nazis's increasing control over his country and his liberty. The exhibit includes diary entries and hands-on activities for younger museum patrons.

Life in the Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust: This is the story of children who went underground to escape the Nazis, told through photographs and other assembled documents from real survivors.

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: This follows the persecution of homosexual Germans as they were rounded up and jailed by the thousands. The Nazis, in a quest to make their master Aryan race, believed the homosexual carried a disease that would destroy the masculinity of the German population.

Fighting Fires of Hate: America and Nazi Book Burnings: This exhibits looks at the first demonstrations of censorship exhibited by the Nazis as they began to burn books with dangerous or what they believed to be anti-German ideas. The exhibit also relates the German book burnings to those that happened in America.

Varian Fry, ASSIGNMENT: RESCUE, 1940-1941: This exhibit chronicles the valiant attempts of Fry, an American writer, to smuggle other artists out of France during the Nazi occupation.

First Person Interview at the Helena Rubinstein Auditorium: This event is a discourse with a Holocaust survivor. The event will happen on May 11 at 1 p.m. at 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place in D.C. For more information, click here.


Web sites


The Holocaust History Project < ahref= http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/> Holocaust Survivors.org each have a large compilation of essays, photographs and other artifacts from the early 1940s.

To view a timeline of the Holocaust or to consult a Holocaust Encyclopedia, click on the appropriate links.

Learn more about the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust at Holocaust Forgotten or read stories of survivors at Holocaust Survivors.

Books


"Night" by Elie Wiesel.
"Night" is one of the most famous books set during the Holocaust. Wiesel's Nobel Peace prize-winning book tells of the story of his survival in a concentration camp while in his teens. Wiesel's struggle to find meaning in the midst of a hell is told through poignant, haunting prose. Though the images and events in the book are unsettling, much can be learned from Wiesel's chronicle of the horrific event.

"The Diary of Anne Frank" by Anne Frank and "The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank" by Willy Lindwer
"The Diary of Anne Frank," published by her father after her death in a concentration camp, tells of the story of the Holocaust as it happens through the eyes of a young girl. Anne does not have the gift of hindsight in her story; all of her entries are written as the events unfold. "The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank" is a companion story told through a compilation of tales of women in concentration camps who knew Anne or her family members. The book also includes an extensive set of photographs of the concentration camps.

"Wartime Lies" by Louis Begley
This is the story of a young Jewish boy who poses as a different person to escape Nazi persecution. While others of his faith are being deported to labor camps, Maciek and his aunt pretend to be non-Jews and hide in Poland. Maciek experiences terrible guilt at lying to save his life and not being able to help his fellow countrymen.

"Hide and Seek" by Ida Vos
"Hide and Seek"'s Jewish protagonist Rachel survives the Holocaust with her entire family but cannot understand how it happened or what it means for her people.

"On the Other Side of the Gate" by Yuri Suhl
Yuri Suhl's story takes on a unique aspect of the Holocaust. His two protagonists have a Catholic acquaintance adopt their baby to save it from starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto. Suhl talks of how these adoptions were common and how many families returned to collect their children after the Holocaust to find them unwilling to embrace their newfound families and Jewish heritage.

"The Cage" by Ruth Minsky
"The Cage" is a first person narrative of a young girl who experiences deportation to a ghetto and finally a concentration camp during the Holocaust.

"A Scrap of Time and Other Stories" by Ida Fink
This is a compilation of stories set in Poland during the Holocaust.

"Seed of Sarah" by Judith Magyaar Isaacson
"Seed of Sarah" is a memoir by Judith Magyaar Isaacson of her time in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. The book is full of details, like an annotated map of Auschwitz and carefully labeled photographs.

"Maus" by Art Spiegelman
This is a graphic novel told in two parts; the first tells the story of Art Spiegelman Maus's father, a concentration camp survivor, and the second is about Maus's determination to connect with his father.

Movies


"Nowhere in Africa"
This is the tale of a Jewish family who moves to Kenya. They find themselves stuck in the country after they learn of the Nazi occupations and they must come to terms with their new and vastly different home.

"Schindler's List"
Perhaps the most famous Holocaust film, "Schindler's List" tells the story of the greedy businessman Oskar Schindler, who becomes an unlikely hero during World War II when he saves the lives of 1,000 Jews.

"Sophie's Choice"
Sophie (Meryl Streep) is a concentration camp survivor who becomes involved with an American Jew (Kevin Kline) obsessed with the Holocaust. Their relationship is haunted, however, by her unsettling past and his fixation on the events of World War II.

"The Pianist"
This movie tells the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), an accomplished pianist in the 1940s. Szpilman goes into hiding during the Holocaust because of his Jewish heritage and witnesses important historical events like the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the liberation of Poland.

"Life is Beautiful"
This Roberto Benigni film tells the story of a family sent to the concentration camps towards the end of World War II. Guido (Benigni) hopes to make things easier for his child by convincing him it's a game and test of strength to win a special prize.

"Triumph of the Spirit"
This movie tells the true story of a Greek boxer (Willem Dafoe) who is allowed to live in Auschwitz as long as he continues to fight for the entertainment of the Nazis.

All information was compiled from the Internet Movie Database, the Holocaust Museum and the Museum of Tolerance Online.



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  • Emma Zachurski on May 6, 2005 at 6:53 PM
    Great story, it's great that silver chips covered this.

    Just one thing, the graphic novels by Art Spiegelman are actually called the "Maus" series...
  • forgotten on May 7, 2005 at 7:25 AM
    it is important not to forget the thousands upon thousands of gays, handicapped people, gypsies, and catholics who died in the camps.
  • Beth on May 7, 2005 at 3:33 PM
    I am really happy that Silver Chips chose to recognize this. Very good article.
  • Liberal Jew on May 8, 2005 at 4:31 PM
    You misspelled Schindler. It's spelled with a C.
  • Jay Asbell (View Email) on May 9, 2005 at 1:25 PM
    yeah you should correct that Maus thing, i actually really enjoyed those books

    I was at Auschwitz over the summer, its really sad how commercialised the polish government made it, i mean its one thing to add exibits and even a small gift shop, but manditory tour guides (who were ignorant and disrespectful) and a large commercial food court really steps over the line.

    Good article though.
  • Mr. Grossman (View Email) on June 3, 2005 at 8:35 AM
    Holocaust literally means 'whole burnt offering'. It is a term that derives from Greek and generally refers to the mass killing of Jews that took place between 1941 and 1945. Nazi Field Marshall and economic director, The Holocaust has historically been associated with Hermann Goring order to carry out the 'Gesamtlbsung' or total solution to the "Jewish Question" on July 31, 1941.

    The Nazi goal was to Araynize large expanses of Eastern Europe in addition to Germany in order to create more living space for the "super race." An area could only be considered Araynized if it was officially Judenrein or free of all Jews.

    Jews generally refer to Holocaust as the Ha'Shoah. Ha'Shoah literally means destruction and has an additional connotation, the tragedy.
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