Yom HaShoah

The Holocaust is a hard topic to explain to a little person. Yet they are part of our lives and to hide the Memorial Days from them gives them a skewed perspective of reality.  After we lit our yellow Shoah candle, I showed Froggy this picture of six survivors lighting remembrance flames at Yad Vashem.  In Israel, it is easy because the Memorial Days are given the honor and respect they deserve. Here is a clip showing how everyone pauses to show respect for the two minutes of remembrance.  The siren sounds and everyone nationwide actually stops to remember whether they are in school, at work, or on even on the road.

Warning the siren is loud. You may want to adjust your sound

So our Yom HaShoah studies have consisted of mostly reading books and Ima answering the questions that arise.  We pulled back out One Candle  which is really a Hanukkah book but also shows how the family remembers those who perished and honors their perseverance. 

We also read Memories of Survival.  This is our first time delving into a survivors story.  Esther told her story of Holocaust survival in a series of 36 exquisite, hand-embroidered fabric collages and hand-stitched narrative captions.  Her daughter reproduces those collages in this book, adding commentary that fills in the historical details.  Froggy commented several times on the majesty of needlework several times.  I don't know if she recognized the artistry more because she is working on needlework herself right now or as a method of hiding from the story itself.  She did not ask any questions  about the atrocities or even why the Gestapo was killing Jews.  I think perhaps being so young she does not grasp the magnitude or see it as any different from the other "they tried to kill us but we survived so lets eat" holidays we have through out the year.  I chose this book specifically because it introduces the autrocities and shows the Gestapo but does not include the graphic details that even some of the other "Juvenile" books included.  These details are important for a deeper understanding but not important for a first grader to have. 

I also checked out One More Border but we have not read it yet.  It contains actual photographs but is told in a more story-like fashion than Memories of Survival.  I have not pulled it out to read to Froggy yet because I don't want to overwhelm her.  I will keep it for awhile and see if she pulls it out.


  1. Wow. I watched the video clip and it brought tears to my eyes. My 7-year old asked me about it and I saw what you mean about trying to explain it. Thanks for linking this post.

  2. It is hard to explain at such a young age. I think it is something that can be learned slowly, over the years.

    Thank you for sharing this with Learning Laboratory.


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