Before the War
The world of Jewish children in Europe before the Holocaust was characterized by a diversity almost equal to the number of the individuals involved: each child and his family, each child and his immediate surroundings, each child and the cultural environment in which he was raised. Some studied in “cheder” and lived in an intensely orthodox environment; others learned in state schools and were totally secular in outlook. Between these two extremes lay every shade of religious outlook and belief. Many of the games that the children played and the books they read are part of the social culture of children today: street and ball games; toys; board games such as “Monopoly” and chess; books like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Anne of Green Gables, and characters from Walt Disney films such as Mickey Mouse and Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs.