Amos Flier

      2013 - 5774       

Dear Holocaust Educators,


The Kindertransport Association (KTA) has proclaimed December 2, 2013 as World Kindertransport Day - the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the rescue mission that brought almost 10,000 Jewish children to England from Nazi Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia in the nine months leading up to WWII. The KTA has reached out to international organizations to join in this proclamation, and the Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater Philadelphia has signed as a supporter.


The Kindertransport rescue was a significant response to the escalation of Nazi persecution and violence in 1938, following the November 9-10 Kristallnacht pogroms. 1938 had marked the expansion of the Third Reich into Austria and the Sudetenland, as well as a pivotal increase in arrests and incarceration (see 1938: Key Dates). Yet the Evian Conference representing 32 countries failed to ease immigration restrictions for those desperately seeking to flee Nazi-occupied Europe.


We encourage educators to use this anniversary year to frame lessons around these decisive pre-war events and critically examine possible points of intervention.


Josey G. Fisher, Editor

Holocaust Education Consultant 




"Transcending Trauma 75 Years after Kristallnacht: Survivor Stories, the Search for Meaning and  

Attitudes toward Perpetrators"


Thursday, November 7, 7:00 PM


Saint Joseph's University

Haub Executive Center, McShain Hall

5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia


Drs. Bea Hollander-Goldfein and Nancy Isserman will present excerpts of survivor testimony from Kristallnacht, discussing its impact on survivors' attitudes and post-war lives as reported in their "Transcending Trauma" research project. Sponsored by the SJU Institute of Jewish-Catholic Relations.


"Stars in the Dust" 


Sunday, November 10, 7:00 PM


Har Zion Temple 

1500 Hagys Ford Road, Penn Valley 


This cantata by acclaimed composer Samuel Adler for chamber orchestra, chorus and soloists and narrator, will feature members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Philadelphia Singers, Hazzan Eliot Vogel as featured soloist, conductor Jonathan Coopersmith of the Curtis Institute, and Larry Kane as narrator. Samuel Adler will reflect on his personal memories of Kristallnacht. Includes special exhibit of visual images describing events leading up to and including Kristallnacht, prepared by the ADL and Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater Philadelphia. For information and tickets, call 610-667-5000.






50 Children

Monday, October 14, 7:30 PM


Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel 

8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park


Philadelphia Jewish couple, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, travel to Nazi-occupied Vienna in 1939 to rescue 50 children and bring them back to the U.S. Despite entanglement with both high-ranking Nazi officials and U.S. immigration restrictions, they successfully carry out the largest known American transport of refugee children. Post-film talk with documentary director Steven Pressman. 1 hour.  

Trailer, tickets and further information.


Hannah Arendt  


Monday, November 4, 7:00 PM


International House

3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia


Dramatization of the career of the controversial philosopher who was sent to cover the 1961 Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.  Arendt's writings regarding the nature of evil, the compliance of the victims' leadership, and the responsibility of humankind to question and resist conformity continue to raise intense discussion.


English, French, German, Hebrew, and Latin with English subtitles. Post-film panel, including screenwriter Pam Katz. 1 hours.


The Jewish Cardinal


Saturday, November 9, 8:00 PM


Prince Music Theater

1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia


Award-winning dramatization of the true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity despite converting to Catholicism, joining the priesthood, and being appointed Archbishop of Paris by Pope John Paul II. French with English subtitles.  

1 hours.  




Monday, November 11, 7:00 PM


International House

3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia


Based on true events, Polish-born Franek, living in the U.S., returns to his native country to discover that his brother is hated by his fellow Catholic villagers. Danger and violence escalate as Franek discovers a terrifying secret that has scarred his village for almost half a century. Polish with English subtitles. 1 hours.  

Trailer, tickets and further information.

Full festival listings and further information.





Chagall: Love, War, and Exile


Through February 2, 2014

Jewish Museum, New York City


First U.S. exhibition of Chagall's works from the rise of fascism in the 1930's through 1948, years spent in Paris and then in exile in NY. Chagall and his family had fled the Soviet Union after the Revolution and again, under Nazi threat, to New York City in 1941.



Against the Odds: American Jews &
the Rescue of Europe's Refugees, 1933-1941



Through Spring 2014

Museum of Jewish Heritage,  

New York City


The story of American Jews who overcame tremendous obstacles to help those fleeing Nazi persecution reach haven in the U.S. Website includes timeline, artifacts (including letters from Secretary of State Cordell Hull to consulates and from Albert Einstein to Eleanor Roosevelt), as well as conflicting views on immigration then and now.

More information.




Life Among the Gypsies:  

The Pre-War Photographs of  

Jan Yoors - 1934-40


Through January 3, 2014

Anne Frank Center USA,  

New York City


Visual representation of the life experience of Jan Yoors and his documentation of Roma history, customs and culture during the pre-war years. With the outbreak of the war, Yoors was enlisted to recruit Romanies to help Allied intelligence units and smuggle arms to the resistance.    




"Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust"


USHMM, Washington, DC


Special exhibition, marking the Museum's 20th anniversary, documents the tens of thousands of ordinary people who actively collaborated with Nazi perpetrators and even more who supported or tolerated the crimes. See online resource below.  

Plan a visit.




No Place on Earth

Award-winning documentary records the remarkable survival of 38 Ukrainian Jews in an underground cave for 18 months. Excellent classroom supplements include History Channel teacher's guide and IWitness (USC Shoah Foundation) Information Quest, including video testimony clips with survivors of the experience. 

Links to educational tools & trailer.


The Secret of Priest's Grotto - A Holocaust Survival Story

is the companion book for grade 6+, describing National Geographic cavers' discovery of the site and confirming evidence of the account. 



They Spoke Out: American Voices Against the Holocaust 1938-1945

Includes six stories of those who advocated rescue for the Jews of Nazi Europe. combining vintage film with animation by comic book artist Neal Adams.   

DVD information as well as online episodes.  

Produced by Disney Educational Productions together with the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.  

Grade 9+ 




Defiant Requiem  


Award-winning documentary about conductor Rafael Schaechter's triumphant production of Verdi's Requiem Mass in Terezin, originally sung by a chorus of 150 Jewish prisoners. Corresponding website includes educational modules, historical context, as well as Requiem text and listening guide.  

Grade 6 to adult. 1 hours.    


View film. 


Hitler's Children  
(BBC) Interviews with descendants of five Nazi leaders, openly expressing guilt for family history and their ongoing conflict with their identity. Advanced students. 1 hour.

View film.  


Never Forget to Lie  
(Frontline). Filmmaker Marian Marzinski documents his painful return to Warsaw to explore his escape at age five from the ghetto to the Christian side of the city. This led him to interview other Polish child survivors, who share their intense memories of both rescue and loss. Advanced students. 1 hour.


Marzinski's 1996 film award-winning film Shtetl, about the Jews of Bransk, is now available online as well.

Advanced students. 3 hours. 

View film.



Third Reich:
Rise and Fall

(History Channel).  Includes rare German newsreel recordings, home movies, documentary footage from Allied troops. Grade 9+. 3 hours.



World at War: Genocide (Vol. 20) 

From acclaimed 1970's British TV series chronicling the history of WWII, hosted by Sir Laurence Olivier, this episode remains a classic overview of the genocide, including early interviews with eyewitnesses, both Nazi and Jewish, as well as graphic archival footage. Advanced students. 1 hour.

View film.




PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Education-- for Spring 2013 edition and archive of previous issues, click here

Teaching Tolerance -- for Fall 2013 edition, archive of previous issues, resources and registration for weekly newsletters, click here.


GSI - Generations of the Shoah -- international network of descendants of Holocaust survivors sponsors conferences and workshops of specific interest to the survivor community, as well as providing a comprehensive list of programs and links to newspaper articles and resources in their monthly newsletter and website.    

Compiled and edited by Josey G. Fisher,
Holocaust Education Consultant.

Designed by Bonni Kraus.   
2100 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Community Programming for 2013

Save the Dates!

Youth Symposium on the Holocaust


One-day program for high school students


La Salle  


March 4, 2014


St. Joseph's University: tba


West Chester University:   

March 18, 2014


Congregation Keneseth Israel: tba



Mordechai Anielewicz Creative Arts Competition


Entry deadline: 
March 7, 2014

Submit all entries to:
Jewish Community Relations Council
2100 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103


Annual Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Ceremony   

April  27, 2014



For information about all JCRC Holocaust Education programs and for requests for speakers, contact Beth Razin, 215.832.0536.

For Holocaust Education consultation, contact Josey G. Fisher, 215.832.0862.


Hana's Suitcase: Anniversary Album

by Karen Levine with a forward by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Second Story Press, 2013. Tenth anniversary edition of Hana's Suitcase with 60 pages of additional photos, artwork and writings of children inspired by the book. The original story of Fumiko Ishioka, curator of a small Holocaust education center for children in Tokyo, recounts the receipt of the suitcase of Hana Brady and the search to learn more about its owner.
Grades 6 - 8. 



Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald. Bloomsbury, 2013. True account of 
a seven-year-old French Jewish child who learns to keep secrets to protect both her religious identity and her mother's involvement in the Underground. Macdonald weaves Odette's "hiding in plain sight" as a Catholic schoolgirl with concurrent events in Nazi-occupied France. Written in blank verse for grades 5-8. Older students may recognize the story of Odette Meyers from her testimony in the award-winning film and book Courage to Care or autobiography Doors to Madame Marie (1997).


Prisoner B-3087

by Alan Gratz. Scholastic Press, 2013. Based on the experience of survivor Jack Gruener, this historical novel details the experience of Yanek, age 10 at the beginning of the war, from his childhood in Krakow through his lone survival in ten camps, including Plaszow and Auschwitz.

Grades 6-12.


Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus. Amulet Books, 2012. Based on the life of a young Norwegian spy during WWII, this action-based novel follows the adventure of 14-year-old Espen and his perilous involvement in the Norwegian resistance during the five years of punitive Nazi occupation. Newbery Honor-winning author includes postscript regarding actual people and events forming the basis and aftermath of the story. Grades 6-9.


The Boy on the Wooden Box...on Schindler's List by Leon Leyson. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013. Remarkable memoir of the youngest person on Schindler's List. Leyson, born Leib Lejzon, at age 13 was so small he needed to stand on a box to work the machinery. From his pre-war life in the Polish village of Narewka, growing up among friends and family, Leyson describes his move to Krakow, the onset of the German invasion and his good fortune to work with his father in Schindler's factory - hopeful yet

surrounded by ongoing chaos and threat. Grade 6+.


The View from the Rue Constantinople

by Ellen Norman Stern. The Jewish Writing Project, 2013. A heart-rending short story of the friendship of two Jewish children in 1939 Berlin, one on her way to the U.S., the other on his way to Havana, Cuba on the S.S. St. Louis.  


A personal account by local author and biographer of  

Elie Wiesel.



Adventurers Against Their Will: Extraordinary World War II Stories of Survival, Escape, and Connection - Unlike Any Others by Joanie Holzer Schirm. Peli Press, 2013. Award-winning collection of correspondence of relatives and friends to and from author's Czech Jewish father after his escape to China in 1939. 


Countrymen: The Untold Story of How Denmark's Jews Escaped the Nazis, of the Courage of Their Fellow Danes - and of the Extraordinary Role of the SS

by Bo Lidegaard. Knopf, 2013. This noted historian meticulously details the remarkable story of the Danish rescue on its 70th anniversary, using unpublished diaries and documents of both those who escaped and the brave nationals who helped them.


Holocaust Literature: A History and Guide by David G. Roskies and Naomi Diamant. University Press of New England, 2013, supplemented by Reading in Time: A Curriculum for Holocaust Literature.

Extensive survey of Holocaust literature from wartime to the present.


The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan by Jonathan Kirsch. W.W. Norton & Co., 2013. Detailed exploration of the 17-year-old Jewish refugee who assassinated diplomat Ernst vom Rath in the German embassy in Paris, sparking violent Nazi retribution through the Kristallnacht pogrom. Re-examination of both the historical details and moral dimensions of this enigmatic case.




The Forgotten Genocide: The Fate of the Roma and Sinti


Dutch online exhibition includes WWII overview and six children's accounts, with documentary photos.



The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme: Educational Materials

View here.



IWitness/USC Shoah Foundation


IWitness Video Challenge invites middle and high school students to create videos documenting how they have contributed to bettering their communities.  


December 2.  



USHMM Online Exhibition - "Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust"


Detailed interviews with former neighbors, workers, teenagers, policemen, religious leaders, teachers and friends document explicit collaboration throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. Includes historical photographs, artifacts, timeline, links, lesson plans and resources.  

View here.


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