Note: Students will find
the following three stories emotionally disturbing. They are meant
to be read by children of intermediate and high school levels. Teachers
should allow sufficient time for young people to process these heart-wrenching
Explain to the class
that for many years after the war, the children of the Holocaust
remained silent. They built new lives in new places and tried to
forget how they had narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of
the Nazis. Still, after 50 years -- after raising families and enjoying
successful careers -- they have discovered that they can no longer
be silent. As the youngest and last survivors of the Holocaust,
they feel compelled to bear witness.
Two of the stories in
this booklet do not only speak of a monstrous past, they also tell
us about heroism and rescue. Krystyna's family was saved by simple
sewer workers, and Lili was placed in a convent by Father Bruno
Reynders, a Benedictine monk who saved close to 400 Jewish children
To set the stage for
the materials that follow, ask the students the following questions:
- What elements do children
need to succeed (e.g., good home, loving parents, stable environment,
praise to build self-esteem)?
- What are some vital
physical components and emotional components?
- What might be the
immediate consequences of depriving children of these elements?
- What might some of
the long-term consequences be?
Have students keep a
log as they read about Krystyna, Lili and Alexander.
Have them list incidents
or acts of discrimination; who was involved, and what happened as
Encourage the students
to be as specific as possible. Also have them note acts of kindness.
Who was involved? What happened as a result?