The International School for Holocaust Studies
e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
Welcome to the 26th issue of Teaching the Legacy. This edition is part of a newsletter series that will focus on the subject of commemoration and art. This e-newsletter will focus on the visual arts, while the next ones will continue with other art forms such as poetry, films, Holocaust memorials, and so-called “graphic novels” (comics). This e-newsletter includes a main article that covers the subject of Holocaust art created by survivors. Another article which is accompanied by a teacher’s guide decribes the use of interdisciplinary tools and its value in the classroom. A third article discusses the limitations of artistic representations. We have also included an interview with the Holocaust survivor and artist Samuel Willenberg and his wife Ada. As always, the newsletter features new publications, book reviews, and updates on recent and upcoming activities at the International School for Holocaust Studies and across Yad Vashem. We hope you find this issue interesting and resourceful and we look forward to your feedback.
Main Article – “Commemoration in the Art of Holocaust Survivors”
Many survivors feel compelled to create art, just as other survivors memorialize their stories through writing. The art survivors create is as much testimony and documentation as it is an expression of their experiences. Whether it takes the form of painting, drawing or sculpture, it embodies the memories that they pass on to us. This article explores portraits created by survivors.
Article – “Interdisciplinary Education”
One of the problems of teaching the Holocaust is the unprecedented behavior of humanity during the Second World War and finding a believable way of presenting it. This article suggests ways of presenting aspects of the Holocaust that combine different approaches to enable cognitive contact with a difficult subject. It also provides some tools for using this as a topic in classroom lessons and discussion.
What’s New at Yad Vashem
- Yad Vashem Posthumously Honors Jerzy Ponczynski, as Righteous Among the Nations from Poland: On Sunday December 11, 2011, Yad Vashem held a ceremony posthumously honoring Jerzy Ponczynski, as Righteous Among the Nations from Poland. His children, from Israel and abroad, accepted the medal and certificate of honor on his behalf. The event took place in the presence of the children of the Righteous and the survivor.
- Yad Vashem Posthumously Honors Righteous Among the Nations Mother Marie-Veronique from Belgium: ceremony was held at Yad Vashem to posthumously honor Mother Marie-Veronique of Belgium as Righteous Among the Nations. Mother Marie-Veronique, née Philomene Smeers, served as Mother Superior of the Sacred Heart of Mary convent in La Hulpe, Belgium from 1929 until 1951.
- "Gathering the Fragments," a national campaign being held across Israel to rescue personal Items from the Holocaust period, that began in April 2011, continues unabated. In some 35 collections days held since the project's inception, about 2,000 people have donated over 33,000 items to Yad Vashem, including 93 diaries, 245 works of art, 759 personal artifacts, 6,565 letters and 13,220 photographs. The campaign is conducted by Yad Vashem in partnership with the National Heritage Project at the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Senior Citizens Affair. Some of the items, along with the moving stories that accompany them, have been uploaded to a special online exhibition.
- Yad Vashem's quarterly magazine is now available online. Included is a special item about personal letters donated to Yad Vashem as part of the "Gathering the Fragments Campaign," a look at the new Visual Center's Online Film Database, a salute to Yad Vashem's American Society at 30 years, news from the International School, conferences and special visits.
In this section, we feature some Holocaust-related literature that may be of interest to educators and the general public.
Article – “Are There Any Boundaries of Artistic Representations of the Holocaust?”
Artistic representation of the Holocaust has become a matter of controversy. This article discusses various controversies regarding the limitations to the artistic representation of the Holocaust.
Article and Lesson Plan – "Keeping the Memory Alive": International Poster Competition 2012
This article discusses the international poster competition held in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2011 and analyzes the three finalists’ entries. The associated lesson plan presents various methodologies that can be used by teachers to analyze the posters, and to have their classes create their own posters.
An Interview with Samuel and Ada Willenberg
In this interview Samuel Willenberg, a survivor of the Treblinka death camp, talks about his artwork. Samuel has created a series of fifteen sculptures that are scenes from Treblinka.
Artifacts from the Holocaust
This piece discusses artifacts related to art created by Holocaust survivors during their detention by the British on Cyprus.
Righteous Among the Nations
Varian Fry and Waitstill and Martha Sharp
This segment spotlights unique individuals who risked their lives in order to save Jews during the Holocaust.
What’s New at the International School for Holocaust Studies
- European Department: Please read about the First-Ever EUROCLIO-Yad Vashem Partnership Development Seminar.
- Jewish World Department's International Seminars for Educators: Please read about the news in the Jewish World Department.
- International Seminars in the English Department: Please read about the news of the International Seminars in the English Department.
New publications from Yad Vashem and the International School for Holocaust Studies.
Editorial Board: Shulamit Imber, Dorit Novak, Dana Porath, Naama Shik
Editor: Sheryl Ochayon, Franziska Reiniger
Writing Staff: Kathryn Berman, Liz Elsby, Jackie Metzger, Sheryl Ochayon, Franziska Reiniger
Design and Production: Stephanie Amara, Liz Elsby
Contact Us: email@example.com