This year, I am spending a little time personally commemorating this period by remembering and learning/relearning some history surrounding the Holocaust. In doing so, I have found the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website to be a good resource. Various DRVH events throughout the United States can be found on an event map at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website, though many of the events this year have already occurred. In thinking about the Holocaust, I - like many - often wonder how such an unimaginable tragedy could have come to pass, and I continue to wonder at what dynamics allow for the continued genocide of groups seen even more recently. I found the overview of the early warning signs of the Holocaust on the museum's site interesting and enlightening, as well as their page on confronting genocide. And, of course, the individual stories are always impactful, as they put a relatable human face to events that can seem impersonal on the pages of history texts.
by Patricia Polacco
This true story comes from the author's family history. The protaganist is Polacco's aunt, who in the story is a child named Monique. Monique's mother was part of the French underground and resistance and hid Jews in her basement during the Nazi occupation of France. One of the people she hid was a little girl named Sevrine, who befriended Monique. The events of this friendship are the basis for the story in this book.
by Marcia Vaughan, illustrated by Ron Mazellan
This book relates the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who, at great risk to herself, helped the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. She began by smuggling in needed items, but later helped to smuggle nearly 2500 children out. The children were given new identities and placed with foster families and orphanages. Hoping to later reunite the children with their families, Sendler buried lists indicating the real and false identities in jars under an apple tree.
by David A. Adler, illustrated by Karen Ritz
This book gives an overview of the short life of Anne Frank, who is well-known from her diary published after her death.
by Eve Bunting
I actually have not had a chance to read this book, as all copies have been in use at our library system. However, per the description and reviews online, I hope to check it out later and determine if it will be appropriate for my kids. Per the Amazon description: "This unique introduction to the Holocaust encourages young children to stand up for what they think is right, without waiting for others to join them."