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Report on the exhibition “Children and the Holocaust” displayed at “Druga kragujevacka gimnazija”
Sasa Cirkovic, Serbia

Having got the Yad Vashem material on Poster project for pupils and students, I initially had an idea to make a presentation that could draw attention to the students at the school where I work. Therefore, I made a power point presentation about the Yad Vashem museum in general and its activities. I used the material from the Yad Vashem official website. At the same time, according to the instructions sent for the Poster project, I did use the material and the links. The final presentation consisted of visual images, text and video clips used in order to make students understand the Holocaust in general and specifically the issue of children before, during and after the holocaust.

The presentation included all the main topics suggested by the Poster project so the students could get ideas for their work. Those topics included - children during the deportation, children in the camps, children in hiding, children during liberation, joining a new family, orphans, meeting local neighbours, displaced children and childhood memories. Each individual topic in the presentation was accompanied by suitable material such as photographs and video clips of documentaries and feature films that could have been used for ideas. A particular role of focusing on colours, memories, smells, thoughts and sounds in their work was emphasized.
In cooperation with a colleague of mine, Ms Snezana Grujic, who herself was one of the participants in the Yad Vashem seminar a couple of years ago, the three lectures on the subject were held for some fifteen students in our school. The students are aged 14 – 16. I also had an idea to work with another colleague of mine, Ms Olgica Marisavljevic who is an Art teacher in our school. She helped a great deal in working with the students, giving them instructions and selecting their drawings.

In total, the three lectures were held during November 2011 for smaller groups of students. The students were told about the main topic of the Poster project but they insisted on creating their drawings individually with an idea of merging them producing some sort of a poster that way. The Art teacher helped them with that. Through the drawings and paintings, the students expressed their feelings and impressions about the general topic “Children and the Holocaust”. During December, their works were collected and the students created some sort of a poster and displayed it in the main hall of our school. This mini exhibition was entitled “Remember the past, shape the future” and was set on a three-part board, which metaphorically represents the past, the present and the future. Later in December, this board with the students’ work was set in the main hall so all the students and teacher in our school can see it. In this manner our students mark the Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mr Sasa Cirkovic, Druga kragujevacka gimnazija, Kragujevac, Serbia

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