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Yad Vashem Traveling Exhibitions

No Child’s Play: Children in the Holocaust: Creativity and Play

Selected Panels from the Exhibition

Regine (Rivka) Gartenlaub-AvihailJewish refugee children from Germany, deported in December 1938 to a demilitarized zone between Hungary and Czechoslovakia.“For Dear Juri on his Bar - Mitzvah, Memories of childhood and Terezin, dedicated to you by friends from Kyjov”Girl and her doll, photographed on the way to Treblinka. Of the approximately 11,000 Jews deported from Thrace and  Macedonia in March 1943, only 200 survived

Regine (Rivka) Gartenlaub-Avihail, advertisement for coffee, Paris, 1939Regine (Rivka) Gartenlaub-Avihail, advertisement for coffee, Paris, 1939

The world of Jewish children in Europe before the Holocaust was categorized by a diversity almost equal to the number of individuals involved; each child and his family, each child and his immediate surrounds, 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.