The International School for Holocaust Studies
e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
Welcome to the 27th issue of Teaching the Legacy. This edition is part of a newsletter series that focuses on the subject of Commemoration and Art. This e-newsletter will focus on Poetry and Commemoration.
When dealing with such a complex and painful topic as the Holocaust, it is important to include as many tools as possible and to combine different approaches to enable a better understanding and knowledge of the Holocaust as a human story. Poetry, as one of these tools, belongs to a special category of expression that provides the reader with an understanding of a personal experience of the poet and of human behavior and social issues related to an historical event. It enables us to come closer to these events because we are dealing with the feelings of individuals who experienced them. Read more...
Main Article – “Poetry and Commemoration”
Many survivors feel compelled to memorialize their stories through writing. The poems survivors create are as much testimony and documentation as they are an expression of their experiences. This article explores poems that deal with their experiences.
Written in Pencil in the Sealed Freightcar: A Poem by Dan Pagis (1930-1986)
A Teacher’s Guide for Using the Poem and Four Biblical Verses
We are presenting here a lesson-plan on a poem written by Dan Pagis called Written In Pencil in a Sealed Freightcar. The lesson plan was created to enable teachers to choose various themes for their classes that emerge from the poem and four verses in the Book of Genesis that, together with the Holocaust served as a trigger or an inspiration for Dan Pagis to write one of the shortest poems on the Holocaust which has become a classic in its own rights.
This poem is the ultimate example of a poet’s ability to say more in less – nineteen words in the original Hebrew – and what follows is an essay into thoughts that can be teased out of the six short lines of the poem in conjunction with the biblical inspiration of the Cain and Abel story in Genesis.
What’s New at Yad Vashem
- Recent Visit of Gilad Shalit to Yad Vashem: Gilad Shalit recently visited Yad Vashem. Following a moving tour of the Holocaust History Museum, Gilad accessed family Pages of Testimony, photos and documents located in Yad Vashem's Archives.
- Righteous Among the Nations from France Participates in Ceremony at Yad Vashem Together with Survivor: On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, Yad Vashem held a ceremony honoring Sister Marie Emilienne and the late Father Joseph Caupert as Righteous Among the Nations from France. Sister Marie Emilienne and Father André Almeras, nephew of Father Caupert, accepted the medals and certificates of honor. The event took place in the presence of H.E. Christoph Bigot, Ambassador of France in Israel, survivor Gabi Hochman, family and friends.
- Special Gathering of Kindertransport Children at Yad Vashem: On Monday, 27 February, a special gathering of Kindertransport children took place at Yad Vashem, marking 100 years since the birth of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, who saved thousands of Jewish children and adults by means of the Kindertransport and other rescue schemes.
- Agreement Signed at Yad Vashem by German and Israeli Governments. Germany Will Support Yad Vashem's Holocaust Remembrance Activities: On February 1, 2012, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of Israel signed an agreement whereby Germany will support Yad Vashem to the sum of one million euro annually, from 2012-2021. The agreement signifies the German government's wish to help facilitate Yad Vashem’s various activities in Israel and globally which further commemoration, documentation and education of the events of the Holocaust.
- Symposium Marking 70 Years Since the Wannsee Conference
The Organization of the Mass Murder of the Jews and Its Significance: The recent Symposium Marking 70 Years Since the Wannsee Conference: "The Organization of the Mass Murder of the Jews and Its Significance" took place in the presence of M.K. Yuli Edelstein, Minister of Information and Diaspora, Mr. Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate and H.E. Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel.
Article – “Coping through Art - Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the children of Theresienstadt”
This article describes the contribution made by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis to the children in the Theresienstadt ghetto and the alternative community she created there.
An Interview with Ester Golan
In this interview, the Holocaust survivor Ester Golan, talks about her poetry and the Kindertransport.
An Interview with Dr. Simon Lichman
In this interview, the poet Dr. Simon Lichman, talks about his poems, which deal with the return to places of former Jewish life and atrocities during the Holocaust. He shares his feelings and thoughts regarding the loss of family, community, culture and Jewish life as a whole in Europe.
Artifacts from the Holocaust – The Shofar from Skarzysko-Kamienna
This Shofar was made in anticipation of Rosh Hashana 5704 (1943) by Moshe (Ben-Dov) Winterter from the city of Piotrkow, Poland. Winterter was an inmate in the Skarzysko-Kamienna camp, a brutal forced labor camp for Jews located in the Poland town of the same name. He worked in the metal workshop of the armaments factory at the camp.
Righteous Among the Nations
Stanislaw Grocholski was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations in a moving ceremony on January 17, 2012. This article gives a glimpse into the suffering of the people he rescued, as well as the difficulties he faced during the Holocaust.
What’s New at the International School for Holocaust Studies
- European Department: Please read about the project "Reading Together".
- Jewish World Department's International Seminars for Educators: Please read about the news in the Jewish World Department.
- International Seminars in the English Department
New publications from Yad Vashem and the International School for Holocaust Studies.
In this section, we feature some Holocaust-related literature that may be of interest to educators and the general public.
Editorial Board: Shulamit Imber, Dorit Novak, Dana Porath, Naama Shik
Editor: Sheryl Ochayon, Franziska Reiniger
Writing Staff: Kathryn Berman, Liz Elsby, Jackie Metzger, Sheryl Ochayon, Franziska Reiniger
Design and Production: Stephanie Amara, Itamar Babad, Liz Elsby
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