Today (January 27th) is Holocaust Memorial Day, the day when we remember all those affected by the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Chief Executive Olivia Marks-Woldman says:
‘The theme for the thousands of Holocaust Memorial Day events taking place across the country today is ‘Don’t stand by‘. Today is about remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, but it’s also about finding ways to make sure they can never happen again. We know that silence and indifference in the face of discrimination and hatred allows persecution to take root, so we want to encourage people to stand up and speak out, in the way many brave souls have in the past.’
Many schools in the UK will be marking the day and you can find educational resources including survivors stories on the HMD website here. There will also be a commemorative ceremony on BBC2 tonight at 7pm.
I can also recommend a range of books you could use to introduce children to the Holocaust. All of the books listed here begin at ages 9 and upwards. It is a difficult topic to convey to younger children without hinting at information that many will feel unsuitable, and as such there are few books for a younger age range. However, Let the Celebrations Begin! by Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas (ill.) (Walker Books Australia) and Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust by Eve Bunting and Stephen Gammell (ill.) (Jewish Publication Society) are picture books that do not make specific references to the Holocaust and could be used as an approach to the topic for children ages 7+.
Erika’s Story by Ruth Vander Zee and Roberto Innocenti (ill.) (Creative Paperbacks)
Rose Blanche by Ian McEwan and Roberto Innocenti (ill.) (Red Fox)
Hidden: a child’s story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier (First Second)
The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren (Kar-Ben Publishing)
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman (Random House) ages 13+
Morris Gleitzman has written an excellent series of 4 books following the life of a young boy called Felix which begins with the book, Once (Penguin).
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr (Harper Collins)
The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis (Usborne)
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak (Black Swan) ages 13+
Are there any more you could recommend? If so, please comment on the post and share any recommendations or thoughts with us.