Spring 2012: Children and the Holocaust
5 Wednesdays ( Feb. 8, Feb. 29, March 28, April 18, May 9)
Children figure prominently in the Holocaust and its remembrance in a number of ways: The wartime experience of children who were victims of Nazi persecution have long played an important role in Holocaust remembrance and have recently emerged as a subject of historical interest. Children of Holocaust survivors have had an increasingly significant role in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the dynamics of its remembrance. Children have also become a strategic focus of Holocaust pedagogy in museum exhibitions, films, and especially in works of literature for young readers.
- The Challenges of Teaching the Holocaust to Children and Young Adults
Once a subject considered inappropriate for young children, there has been a growing trend to incorporate the Holocaust in curricula for young children and to create pedagogical materials, including films and exhibitions, especially for them. This session examines key examples of Holocaust pedagogy for children and discusses the opportunities and challenges teachers of young children face when approaching this topic.
Christina Chavarría, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
- "Aryan" Children during the Nazi Era
Nazi strategists shaped their youth policy in a way calculated to win young people to their principles and policies. The Hitler Youth and other groups served as conduits to ideological indoctrination and political mobilization. The experiences and viewpoints of Aryan children growing up in Nazi Germany, while radically different from those persecuted under these laws, have much to tell us about life under Nazi rule.
Patricia Heberer, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Holocaust Literature for Young Adult Readers
Since the 1970s, there has been a growing corpus of stories, novels, plays, and poetry about the Holocaust written especially for young readers. More recently, children's wartime diaries have received attention as important historical resources, offering a distinctive perspective on the Holocaust. This session will consider key examples and discuss how to approach them in the classroom.
Perri Geller-Clark and Jeffrey Shandler
- Hidden Children in Belgium
While Anne Frank is the best known case of a hidden child, hers is just one story amongst many. This session will focus on Suzanne Vromen's study of Belgian nuns and their rescue of young Jews from the Nazis.
Suzanne Vromen, Bard College
- Child Survivors and the Kindertransport
Children survived the Holocaust in different ways from older victims of Nazi persecution, and their postwar lives often took a very different course from older survivors as well. As the children of Holocaust survivors became young adults, they began to identify themselves as a cohort that both faced special challenges and was charged with distinctive responsibilities for remembering the Holocaust. This session considers the increasingly prominent role children of Holocaust survivors play in its understanding and remembrance.
Alan Sadovnik, Rutgers Newark