The International School for Holocaust Studies
e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
Welcome to the sixth issue of Teaching the Legacy, the e-newsletter of the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. This issue focuses on Holocaust poetry, and should be of particular interest to English language and literature teachers. The main article covers the subject of Holocaust poetry and its value in the classroom. Accompanying the article is a lesson plan on a specific poem – “Refugee Blues” by W.H. Auden. The e-newsletter also includes a section of book reviews, as well as updates on recent events and new services in the “What’s New” sections. We hope you will find this newsletter of interest and we look forward to your feedback.
Teaching the Holocaust Through Poetry
Different disciplines have applied their approaches to try and understand the transgressive nature of the Holocaust in human history. We have written a lesson plan focusing on a poem written by W.H. Auden, one of England’s leading poets at the time of the Second World War. The poem was written about half a year before the outbreak of the war and as such, it deals more with the problems of refugees than with ghettos and concentration camps. With great prescience, Auden raises the specter of the German-Jewish refugees that had become a factor on the international agenda since the mid-1930’s, and whose fate he addresses even before the war erupts. Read more
Towards the end of World War II, advancing Allied forces from east and west began discovering first-hand the horrendous scope of Nazi atrocities – hundreds of concentration and extermination camps in which prisoners had been abused in every way imaginable. For those Jews still alive in these camps, liberation meant the end of a deadly, repressive, and nominal existence. However, for most prisoners, real celebration was impossible. Too much of their world, their friends, and their loved ones had been destroyed. This ceremony focuses on the complexities of liberation: the shock of the Allied troops at what they saw, and the intermingled joy and deep grief of the rescued survivors. Read more
What’s New at the International School for Holocaust Studies?
The Value of Holocaust Poetry in Education
This article explores how poetry can be used by educators to teach and commemorate the Holocaust. The memory of the Holocaust has been invaluably enriched by poets providing us with a window into a period that for many students – and educators – is very difficult to grasp. Numerous Holocaust-related anthologies have been published in many languages in recent years, and these poems can often be an excellent educational resource. Read more
The Human Spirit in the Shadow of Death
World War II was a period almost devoid of morality, a time when human behavior reached an abyss. The first steps of racial discrimination and terror eventually evolved into a massive plan for total annihilation, leading to the destruction of six million Jewish victims, including one-and-a-half million children. In the midst of this dehumanizing thrust, we focus on cases in which Jews throughout Europe tried to preserve a shadow of human dignity by maintaining basic moral values. Read more
Dear Diary, I Don't Want to Die
One-and-a-half million Jewish children were murdered in the Holocaust, the majority of them with no one to perpetuate their memory or even their names. This ceremony highlights excerpts from the diaries of three Jewish children, as well as poems and memoirs. In addition, it includes a selection of prayers that are appropriate for a religous ceremony. Read more
What’s New at Yad Vashem?
Editorial Board: Richelle Budd-Caplan, Shulamit Imber, Prof. Dan Michman, Dana Porath, Dr. Motti Shalem, Naama Shik
Editor: Jonathan Clapsaddle
Writing Staff: Dr. Havi Ben-Sasson, Kathryn Berman, Shlomit Dunkelblum, Dr. Gideon Greif, Jackie Metzger, Michal Porat, Assaf Tal, Tamara Wassner, Orit Yehazkele
Production and Design: Stephanie Amara, Dror Baruch, Yael Saraby, Mayana Sebbah, Jeremy Zauder
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