04 August 2022
The International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, has recently announced the winner of its Book Prize for an Outstanding Holocaust-related Book for Children and Youth to Maya Klinger-Cohen for her publication The Photo that Saved Us, published by Hakibbutz Hameuchad. For decades, Yad Vashem has been awarding prizes to authors, in Israel and internationally, who excel in raising awareness in the areas of Holocaust remembrance, education and research.
The Photo that Saved Us tells the story of Moshe and Ela Mandil and their children Gavra and Irena, who lived in Yugoslavia before the outbreak of World War II. The book details the family's harrowing experiences of escaping German-occupied Yugoslavia, and how an Albanian Muslim family, the Vesilis, rescued them from the atrocities of the Holocaust. In 2004, the Vesili family was recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for their selfless and life-threatening efforts in providing shelter for the Mandils and other Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.
The judges felt that Klinger-Cohen's book "conveys educational values and brings children and youth closer to the topic of the Holocaust."
"The book was not only well written, but it also draws the reader into the subject in an unintimidating way, presenting elements of her family's rescue story as well as relatively unknown aspects of the Holocaust," stated the International School's Pedagogical Director Dr. Yael Richler Friedman. "It has great potential to touch the hearts of many young readers.”
The prize will be officially presented to Klinger-Cohen at a ceremony in Yad Vashem in the near future.