More than 150,000 Jews passed through Terezin until its liberation in 1945. Of these, over 80% were murdered, either in Terezin or after deportation to the east.
One of the fascinating aspects of Terezin is that many of the Jews sent there were prominent in the fields of culture: painters, artists, musicians, educators, philosophers and others. In the video, "Artists of Terezin: Guidelines for Educators", ISHS staff member Liz Elsby presents the children's newspaper "Vedem", created in the camp by Petr Ginz and his friends, and demonstrates how we may use it teach about the Holocaust.
Liz Elsby is an artist, graphic designer, and guide at Yad Vashem.
Further Pedagogical Considerations
- Note that Terezin was a fraud, an illusion. This was a “model” ghetto that in fact served as a transit camp on the way to extermination camps.
- What is the added value of using art in teaching the Holocaust? What nuances can art convey that other sources cannot?
- What did the artists of Terezin try to convey through their art, that cannot be seen in the Nazi propaganda?
- We can discuss art’s role within the context of Terezin: This was documentation by way of art. The artists created for us, the viewer - they wanted us to see the artwork, to know what had happened.
- Despite the incredibly difficult conditions, we see an example of creative initiative and perseverance; the human spirit in the face of adversity.
- The situation of the children’s home is largely inverted. These children are not in a situation where they are protected and invested in. Rather, they choose to create themselves, under extreme conditions.
- What meaning do you think this endeavor had for Petr and his friends?