Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

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Teaching Holocaust Themes in Elementary Schools

Many Jewish schoolchildren around the world participate from an early age in memorial ceremonies for victims of the Holocaust, and they and their non-Jewish counterparts are exposed to the subject through the media. This inspires them to ask adults what happened and how.

The adults — parents and teachers — acknowledge the importance of the subject but vacillate about how to describe the Holocaust without harming the youngsters. In their sincere wish to protect them, they attempt to avoid discussing that terrible time with young children. These evasions sometimes leave children perplexed and frightened about this “unmentionable” topic.

This program, meant for educators and schoolchildren, is a first step toward studying the Holocaust. It includes:

  • Videocassette
  • Teacher’s handbook
  • Eight pictures


The story is that of Hannaleh, a Jewish girl who lived in a mixed (Polish-Jewish) neighborhood in Poland, and of the war and the occupation of Poland that transformed her life. Hannaleh, her family, and the rest of the Jews were forced to wear the distinguishing yellow star; the family was displaced from its home and surroundings and, like all the Jews, was forced to relocate to a congested ghetto, where they endured cold and starvation. The story reaches its climax when deportations of Jews from the ghetto begin; at this point, it became necessary to find a way to save Hannaleh by smuggling her out of the ghetto to the home of a Polish friend.