Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom HaShoah

memorial candle, watercolor by Leora Wenger, 2008
memorial candle
Holocaust Remembrance Day or Yom HaShoah, day of the Destruction, starts tonight.

Links about Yom HaShoah or about the Holocaust in general:

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20 thoughts on “Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom HaShoah

  • Events of the Shoah can be extremely frightening to young children…they are frightening enough to adults.

    I remember your post about your grandfather’s town, as my paternal ancestors were from Lithuania, also.

  • Thank you for these links.

    My 2nd grader came home yesterday with instructions from a teacher to watch the official candlelighting ceremony. Turns out, this year’s theme was “the children” – the entire hour they spoke of all the murdered children, heard survivor testimonies, heard about children ripped away from their parents only to watch them be shot, or to be shot themselves. It was a horrible, horrible thing to have to sit there with him and explain why the two twin sisters kept talking about Mengele’s experiments. He just sat there frozen, tears in his eyes, watching, listening, and refusing to turn it off.

    It was an awful lot for an 8 year old to try to process. Hell, it was an awful lot for me to try to process.

    • Baila’s post made me think about how we(at least we, my husband and I) prepare to present to our children about sex. We should spend at least as much time talking about scary, scary things like the Shoa.

      I asked my son if he talked about the Shoa in school. He said he would probably have some boring presentation by someone. He has already read several Holocaust books for children. But he’s already 12 and doesn’t scare easily (as opposed to my daughter, who’s afraid of an escalator).

      Teachers need to understand feelings and children’s emotional worlds better. Sounds like his particular teacher had no clue. So sad.

      • If I may talk about my own experience, the French curriculum deals with the Holocaust at different stages in a student’s life. The first step is at the end of primary school. Kids are told about what happened to Jewish children but the emphasis is put on those who were saved, how, by whom, why…

    • Robin: It must have been hard enough for you as an adult but I dare not imagine what it must have been like as a mother having to go through this with your son next to you.

  • Thanks for the link. I think children should start to learn about the Holocaust from a young age, but it obviously needs to be done in stages and with appropriate materials. There are many books for children, even picture books (illustrated not photos). Some books I read with my children include One Last Daffodil, and Nine Spoons–I would say they are meant for children about 7 or 8 years old. Of course, as a parent you need to know your child and what they can handle. Robin, your son’s teacher probably didn’
    didn’t realize how graphic the ceremony would be. I’m sorry he had to experience that. You’ll probably need to talk to him ALOT over the coming weeks as he tries to process the information.

    • My husband asked my kids if they learned about Yom HaShoa today. My son, who is in high school, had a two hour presentation, including some grandparents who are survivors. My daughter, who is in 1st grade, said her teacher told them a story. She didn’t sound frightened by the story. I asked her if she was scared, and she said a little. It didn’t seem to have bothered her much, unlike the escalator ride we took on Sunday that terrified her. (we didn’t get a response from middle son).

  • I feel the same way you do, Leora…wishing I knew more about my Lithuanian ancestry. Anything I know, has taken me several years of research to find out…the internet has helped in that respect, but I’m at a wall right now, due to the lack of available records in Lithuania.

    The archives in Vilnius can’t promise they will have anything…birth…death…marriage certs, etc.

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