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How much can you understand about
another person's experiences?
Can you understand hunger and want?
Can you understand living in silence?
If I told you to be quiet for two minutes, could you do it? You could not talk, you could not touch anything that makes noise, and you could not make a single sound. Let's see....
Okay, the time is up. How well did you succeed?
Can you understand living in fear?
What frightens children? Teenagers? Adults?
What frightens you?
Can you understand being hated because of your culture or your religion?
Has anyone ever treated you differently simply because of who you are?
A Show of Hands:
How many of you completely, absolutely, entirely understand what so many suffered during the Holocaust?
When was the last time you were really hungry?
What did it feel like?
Does it make a difference to know that you can always go somewhere and find food?
Walter Zwi Bacharach's Story
What hunger is like in a concentration camp
Why was hunger sometimes worse than other problems people faced during the Holocaust?
Why does he mention that you would take food from a friend in these camps?
Why does Walter Bacharach not want to use the word "steal?"
"[Hunger] affected people and caused them to act in ways... [they would never normally act]. Hunger was the partner of disease; together they claimed more victims’ lives than any cause other than murder. Hunger and disease fed each other in a vicious cycle, of course: had the victims not been so weak, they would not have become so ill, and so forth."
~"Spots of Light: Women in the Holocaust," Yad Vashem
Ghetto Rations in Lithuania
What are these boys holding?
Children eating in the Lodz Ghetto
Describe this picture.
A Man with Soup in the Ghetto
How do you normally eat soup?
Jews Hiding in an Attic in Holland
How many people are in this photo? List adjectives to describe this photo.
Suse Grünbaum's Story
In summer 1943, Jakob Steinkeller heard [that the Nazis were coming to take the Jewish children away]. To save his 5-year-old son Frederik, he approached the Nowaks, a Polish Catholic family that lived a workshop. Smuggled to the workshop, Frederik survived the war with the Nowaks. His father Jakob, however, was deported to the Auschwitz killing center. Frederik hid in several locations in the Nowaks' one bedroom apartment: under a table, in a bed, and even inside this wardrobe. Frederik often sat behind the wardrobe, in a small chair, until any danger of discovery by visitors to the Nowak home passed.
Admit our limitations.
Think about the five-year-old children you know. How difficult would it be for them to be quiet and hide for hours?
Anne Frank's Annex
Let's go inside the bookcase:
Holocaust Survivors Describe What Living in the Netherlands Was Like
What emotions can you see on these women's faces?
Jewish Women Deported from Greece
The woman in the front is crying. What do you notice about the people around her? Can you explain their reactions?
Anne Frank Writes in 1942...
"In the evenings when it’s dark I often see long lines of good, innocent people, accompanied by crying children, walking on and on, ordered about by a handful of men who bully and beat them until they nearly drop. No one is spared. The sick, the elderly, children, babies and pregnant women – all are marched to their death. (…) I feel wicked sleeping in a warm bed, while somewhere out there my dearest friends are dropping from exhaustion or being knocked to the ground. I get frightened myself when I think of close friends who are now at the mercy of the cruelest monsters ever to stalk the earth. And all because they’re Jews."
Nazi Soldier in Kiev
What do you notice about this photo?
Look how beautiful!
Fasanenstraße Synagogue in Germany
The center is where the Torah is kept.
Laws Against Jews
* Marriages between Jews and non-Jews are forbidden.
* Germans are forbidden to shop at Jewish stores.
* Jews cannot study medicine, law, or dentistry.
* Jews cannot belong to the military or fly the flag.
* Jews are banned from parks, restaurants, schools, and
* Jews cannot vote or be citizens.
* Jews cannot buy bicycles, radios, or typewriters.
* Jews cannot go to the movies or the theater.
* Jews must add the name Sarah or Israel to their names....
And there were many, many more. In Germany the Nazis enforced a list of laws against Jews. Many of these laws spread to other countries under Nazi rule. Other groups of people were also targeted by these terrible laws.
Anne Frank wrote...
"It’s sweltering. Everyone is huffing and puffing, and in this heat I have to walk everywhere. Only now do I realize how pleasant a streetcar is, but we Jews are no longer allowed to make use of this luxury; our own two feet are good enough for us [. . .] The only mode of transportation left to us is the ferry. The ferryman at Josef Israëlkade took us across when we asked him to. It’s not the fault of the Dutch that we Jews are having such a bad time." 1942
What do you know about this yellow star?
Think about the laws that the Nazis made against the Jews. If you had to put them in order from small to large in importance how would you put them in order?
The Nazis did not start with killing. They started with bullying; small acts of unkindness that grew and grew....
If we cannot understand completely, what can we do?
The wisest people listen well. You learn more. And it is a great act of love, to put yourself second and the other person's thoughts and feelings first.
We can use primary sources so that those who experienced the Holocaust can speak for themselves.
Ask respectful questions.
Remember that your curiosity is not as important as someone else's feelings. Think before you speak, but speak honestly and with respect.
Our compassion links us to others. Even if we can't understand, we can still express that we care. That matters.
Don't seek out images of violence in researching the Holocaust. Remember that this violence is not the kind you see in movies. It is not fictional and meant for entertainment. It was real.
Remember that the victims of the Holocaust were and are real people with names, hopes, fears, loves, and dreams. Don't forget them.
Defend what is good.
Do what is right, even when that is difficult.
Be an Upstander.
We can't know completely what it is like to be somebody else, but that's okay.