Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

Support us by buying from the following:

Teaching Empathy through Ecphrastic Poetry: Entering a Curriculum of Peace

(Reposted to this site on 11/17/2003)

Engl_Jrnl02English Journal
May 2000

Copyright by the National Council of Teachers of English
Access NCTE’s web site: www.ncte.org
Reprinted with permission

The Journal of the National Council of Teachers of English
Published since 1912

This lesson plan was prepared for use with the poem
To the Little Polish Boy Standing With His Arms Up by Peter L. Fischl

Teaching Empathy through Ecphrastic Poetry:
Entering a Curriculum of Peace


The most important thing is … I want to help people start to think and to educate themselves and to love each other; so no one ever has to go through what that little Polish boy went through again.

—Peter L. Fischl, Holocaust survivor

Over a half century ago, Nazi guns pointed at children. Today, children point guns at children—in our homes, in our schools, and in our communities. In this context, Peter L. Fischl’s simple but eloquent words get to the heart of any curriculum of peace. They challenge us to define the teaching of peace as one of the “most important things” we do, and at the same time, they challenge us to reflect: How can we teach for peace? How can we teach our students to feel compassion and kindness towards their fellow human beings? If we believe as I do that the first step in justifying violence against another human being is the objectification of that human being into an “other,” then it also follows that any curriculum of peace must have at its core the teaching of empathy, “the power to enter into the feeling and spirit of others.” 1

But the question still remains: How can we teach, not preach, empathy? How can we empower our students to “enter into” the feeling and spirit of others? One answer lies in a remarkable teaching tool—ecphrastic poetry—and one particular ecphrastic poem of address written by Peter L. Fischl, “To the Little Polish Boy Standing With His Arms Up”.

Ecphrastic Poetry: The Poetry of Empathy

Ecphrasis, the poetry I like to think of as the poetry of empathy, is a little known, technical term used by classicists and art historians concerning the long tradition of poetic responses to great works of art. John Hollander, poet and critic, has written a definitive work on the subject, The Gazer’s Spirit: Poems Speaking to Silent Works of Art, in which he chronicles the history of ecphrasis from ancient to modern times, including ecphrastic poems in response to sculpture, monuments, and photography. By definition, ecphrastic poetry requires the viewer/poet to “enter into” the spirit and feeling of the subject through a variety of poetic stances: describing, noting, reflecting, or addressing.

I first became acquainted with Fischl’s ecphrastic poem of address when he sent it to me in response to reading my article, “Teaching the Holocaust: Light from the Yellow Star Leads the Way” (English Journal, Dec. 1997). From the moment I first read “To the Little Polish Boy,” I knew I had in my hands the companion lesson that would open the door to the teaching of empathy. His poem and personal story in conjunction with fellow survivor Robert 0. Fisch’s memoir, Light from the Yellow Star: A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust, have become the cornerstone of my teaching of peace, prejudice reduction, and Holocaust and genocide literature ever since. As companion lessons, either one may follow the other. I begin with the Light from the Yellow Star lesson, followed by the lesson in empathy centering on Fischl’s poem of address. Interestingly enough, both survivors, Fischl and Fisch (similarity of names is purely coincidental), grew up in Budapest, Hungary knew each other at the time, and have remained lifelong friends.

In nearly three decades of teaching English and writing to eleventh and twelfth grade students in a diverse, public high school, I have found no introductory lesson more authentic, relevant, and deeply affecting for both me and my students. In two lessons, one eighty minute block and a follow-up lesson, students produce mature, serious, and empathetic poetry entering our curriculum of peace.

A Lesson in Empathy
Historical Background to the Photograph

I begin by displaying a large poster reproduction of the roundup of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto (1943) with Fischl’s poem printed beneath.2 The photograph immediately captures my students’ attention, and a brief discussion naturally follows. I tell them that the photograph of the little Polish boy stands as one of the most powerful photographic images of our century—etched forever in the minds of those who first saw it when it was published in Life Magazine on November 28, 1960 (106). I mention that the Warsaw ghetto confined nearly half a million Jews and that nearly 45,000 died there in 1941 alone, due to starvation and disease. When, in April 1943, the Nazis attempted to raze the ghetto and deport the remaining 70,000 inhabitants to Treblinka concentration camp, a revolt ensued that lasted five weeks (The Betrayal of Mankind14). I comment that the photograph we are looking at was taken by Nazi photographers for General Jurgen Stroop, a Nazi official, to document the uprising and the final liquidation of the ghetto.3 I ask my students if anyone has seen this well-known photograph, as it has been published in many history textbooks and has been reprinted numerous times in popular literature. Despite its historical significance, few of my students can recall seeing it.

Then I ask my students to imagine for a moment a Holocaust survivor seeing this photograph years after the Holocaust. How do you think that survivor might feel? Students speculate that the survivor might be shocked, that the image might bring back painful memories, and that the survivor might not even want to look at the photograph at all. I tell my students that this is what happened to a Holocaust survivor, Peter L. Fischl, whom I have come to know.

Peter Fischl’s Personal Story

I share with my students the personal story Fischl related to me. Like the boy in the photograph, Fischl was a child growing up during the Holocaust. At the age of thirteen he wore the Star of David on his clothes and was subjected to harsh anti-Jewish laws. Soon after, the Nazis invaded Hungary. Separated from his family, he went into hiding in a Catholic school with sixty other boys. A few months later, he received a phone call from his father telling him that he had been discovered by the Gestapo. That was the last contact he had with his father. Fortunately Fischl managed to survive the last weeks of the war in hiding with his mother and sister. In 1957, during the Hungarian Revolution, he escaped to America, where he settled in southern California.

After hearing the poem, my students are visibly moved; a sense of awe and silence permeates the room.

Years later, in 1965, he saw the photograph of the little Polish boy by accident, when he was browsing through old Life magazines in a bookstore on Hollywood Boulevard near his home. The effect on him was so powerful that the image of the little boy remained with him every day for four years thereafter, until he woke up one morning at 2:00 A.M. and, although he was not a poet, wrote a poem to the little Polish boy.

Peter Fischl’s Poem of Address

At this point I place on each student’s desk a smaller version of the poster with a copy of the photograph and the poem printed beneath, and I read the poem aloud as the students follow along.4 After hearing the poem, my students are visibly moved; a sense of awe and silence permeates the room. I ask them to take out their response journals and pose the following questions for personal reflection: What are you wondering at this moment? Write a list of “wonder” questions. What are you feeling? Write about your reactions to the poem.

After a few minutes of writing, I share with my students what happened after Fischl wrote his poem. As he related it to me, until the moment of writing, he had never before expressed his feelings about his Holocaust experience. After writing the poem, he cried “for a long time,” and then he put it in his desk drawer where it sat for nearly a quarter of a century He was not a poet, and he never thought to publish the poem for fear it would be exploiting the memory of the little Polish boy. Then one day he went with his daughter to see the opening of Steven Spielberg’s film, Schlinder’s List. After seeing the film, he sat frozen to his seat, consumed once again with the image of the little Polish boy. At that moment he knew he had to break his silence, and in 1994 he published his poem in lithograph form, where it is on display in the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance as well as in museums throughout the world.

Student Writing Response: Poems Speaking to the Little Polish Boy Photograph

Without further discussion, I ask my students to turn their attention once again to the photograph before them. I suggest that they write their own poem to the little Polish boy or to anyone in the photograph. Keeping the instructions open and simple, I pose the following questions:

  • If you could speak to the little Polish boy, what would you say?
  • If you could speak to anyone in the photograph, what would you say?
  • If you could imagine any of the subjects speaking, what do you think they would say?
  • On a new page in your journals, write any poem reflecting on your viewing of this photograph. You may reread your wonder questions and reflections to help you get started.

In the two years I have been teaching this lesson to students of various ability levels and attitudes towards poetry I never cease to he amazed at how eagerly students respond. After ten minutes of composing I ask, “Who would like to share their poems in progress?” Sitting in our “sharing circle” format, students readily respond with an array of poetic stances: addressing the subjects, letting the subjects speak, reflecting on the subjects.

At this point in the lesson, I want my students to listen to the power of the poems, “to enter into the spirit” and to reflect upon that spirit. As the students do so, they and their poems reveal mature insights into the nature of genocide, the most extreme form of violence, raising the critical questions so vital for our subsequent study. Since I want my students to process those insights, I ask them to go to a blank page in their journals. I tell them we will listen to the poems without commenting, and after hearing each poem, we will reflect in our journals upon that “hearing.” I suggest they write what the poem reveals to them about the nature of violence, genocide, or human behavior, or they may write a wonder question. Without further comment, we proceed around the sharing circle, hearing volunteers who are moved to read, reflecting for a few minutes in our journals after each reading.

Karen “enters the spirit” of the little Polish boy in her poem of address, first describing and then ending with her personal reflection. She reads to us:

To the Little Polish Boy

Looking at you little boy
your arms up in the air
thinking of what you may miss
if one of the demons shoots their guns
ending your already scarred life
looking at you little boy
facing the fear that faces you
how brave you really are…
looking at you little boy
seeing the star of David staining your clothes
locked up in this ghetto with nowhere to go
looking at you little boy
and seeing only
how precious
life really is.

What more important lesson can we learn in our study of peace than Karen’s last lines leading us to the conclusion of the “precious” value of human life?

Lily addresses the little Polish boy by imagining she is his mother. She takes a speculative stance, reading to us:


What if I were your mother
and held you high in the air
in my tall arms
under the warm sun
exalted and kissed by God
on your rosy cheeks,
And the barbed wire and concrete
grayness and cold were a far off
twister of a storm cloud
soon to be swept to sea
never to rain on us
as I hold you high in the air
no pain of a gun piercing your back.

Several students address poems to the Nazi soldiers in the photograph.

The hearing of this poem poses for us a most provocative question … what if? … prompting us to reflect upon the issue of moral choice: What if? … What if we/they choose/chose peace, not violence? John assumes a different stance, taking on the identity/persona of the little Polish boy, by letting him speak. John reads to us only four short lines:


How did I get here?
Why am I here?
What did I do to deserve this?
How will I …

The sudden break in the poem, indicating either the inability to express in words the unthinkable, unknowable horror about to come—there are no answers—or the sudden cliffhanger ending of a vibrant young life—Was the little boy shot at that moment of questioning?—enables us to enter into the moment with its inexplicable possibilities. In four remarkable lines, John imaginatively enters the “spirit and feeling” of his subject,
How will I _____ ?” leading us to fill in the blank with our own reflections—survive?

Cormisha focuses on the woman in the photograph, letting her address the little Polish boy:

The Woman’s Cry

Son, whatever you do keep those hands up.
Soon in time, you will be able to put them down
And let them move freely.
You will be able to play with all the children again.
But son, whatever you do, keep those hands up.
Soon in time, you won’t have to think about danger or fear.
You will be able to go out at night without crying your heart out.
But son, whatever you do keep those hands up.
Soon in time, they will see how they hurt my little boy . . .
The gun toward my son is not necessary,
He is just a child.
Son, whatever you do keep those hands up.
Soon in time, the whole world who kept silent
Will come out and help.

Cormisha imagines the mother not thinking of herself, but only how to help her son survive. The mother’s assurances affirm the bonds of family and hope for future survival: “Soon in time, the whole world … will come out and help.” Cormisha’s poem reminds us of an important aspect of any curriculum of peace: Goodness, love, and bravery must prevail, even in the most violent and inhumane circumstances.

Several students address poems to the Nazi soldiers in the photograph. Many of these poems express anger, others struggle to understand. Jessica addresses the Nazi soldier with a litany of questions:

The Killing Soldier

There you stand with your big bad gun,
There you stand with all the power,
There you stand with your face as a rock.
Don’t you care about that boy?
Don’t you care about his mother and father?
Don’t you care about his other family and friends?
What did this boy do to you?
Did this boy hurt you?
Maybe you should think
before you pull the trigger.

In contrast to Jessica’s poem, Amanda struggles to understand the Nazi soldier’s behavior:

Senses shut down.
No longer can you hear
or feel or see.
SEE the troubled eyes
the little fingers and
the tattered clothes.
They call only to you—
Senses shut down.
You cannot cry back
nor do you want to.
This Innocence is your enemy.
Remote controls
With the switch of a button
—Your HEART is turned off—

In her poem Amanda offers an explanation for the Nazi soldier’s behavior, “ignorance” and “numbness,” for how could anyone he so inhumane and yet possess the feelings that make us human?

Closing Discussion

As a final exercise, I ask students to speculate on what all the poems we have heard in the sharing circle have in common. Students wonder why the world remained silent, what happened to the little Polish boy and “How can people be so cruel?” We list on the board in brainstorm fashion our collective thoughts, feelings, and insights, framing questions for our subsequent study of peace:

  • Why did it happen?
  • How can human beings be so cruel?
  • What is the nature of violence?
  • Why did the “world say nothing?”
  • What did America know about the Warsaw ghetto and the little Polish boy?
  • What is the nature of good and evil?
  • Why do some people choose “good” and others “evil”?

In our discussion I tell my students that the most reliable sources to date contend that we do not know what happened to the little Polish boy; we can only assume that he perished. As far as the question, “Did the world know?” I tell my students about an article recently published in Newsweek. In “Word from the Ghetto” Newsweek reports that the Polish government-in-exile sent Jan Karski, a courier for the underground resistance, to visit the Warsaw ghetto and other transit camps in Poland. I hold up the March 8, 1999, edition of Newsweek with a prominent picture of Karski and the little Polish boy photograph. Karski saw the atrocities and was desperate to tell the world. He did so, but few believed him. When he returned to Washington in June 1943 during the final days of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, he spoke to President Roosevelt. Then I read his words to the class:

A distinction has to be made … The Germans persecute my people … they want to make us a nation of slaves. With the Jews, it is different. They want to exterminate them … Mr. President, I am going back to Poland … Everybody will ask me: what did President Roosevelt tell you? What am I to tell them?(47)

I pause for a moment and then ask my students: What do you think President Roosevelt said? What do you think he should have said? After a few responses, I read Roosevelt’s answer:

You will tell the leaders that we shall win this war! You will tell them that the guilty ones will be punished. Justice and freedom will prevail. You will tell your nation that they have a friend in this house.(47)

As my students reflect on Roosevelt’s words, I mention that Karski was given by the state of Israel its Honorary Citizenship Award as a distinguished rescuer. At this point I introduce the term “righteous gentile,” pointing out the many who made the moral choice to work for peace in the face of genocide. I read Karski’s own words in the foreword he wrote for a book of portraits and stories of Holocaust survivors and their messages of hope and compassion:

I understand the uniqueness of the Holocaust. I saw it. We cannot let history forget it. The Jews were abandoned by governments, by church hierarchies, and by societal structures. But they were not abandoned by humanity. Thousands upon thousands of individuals, priests and nuns, workers and peasants, educated and simpletons—risked their lives or freedom to help—we cannot let history forget them. (The Triumphant Spirit 10)

As class ends, I distribute to my students the Newsweek article and Jan Karski’s foreword for further reading that evening. I tell them, “If you are satisfied with the poem in your response journal, write a final, edited draft, or, if you are inspired after hearing other students’ poems, write a new poem in response to the little Polish boy photograph.”

Follow up Lesson: Expanding Our Circle of Empathy

I open the following class period by asking for examples of new or revised poems written in response to the little Polish boy photograph. Without discussion, we hear a few selections. Then I tell my students that the poems we have been studying and writing are a special kind of poetry, ecphrastic poetry in which the viewer/poet “speaks to” great works of art, sculpture, and photography. I point out that, in that “speaking,” the poet “enters into the spirit and feeling of others.” I define that “entering” as empathy. At this point I praise my students’ extraordinary poems for helping us enter into the spirit and feeling of the little Polish boy, and, by his example, the genocide and Holocaust experience.

Then I tell my students that I want to give them the experience of writing their own poem of address to expand our circle of empathy. In order to do so, I ask them to recall or find a photograph, a work of art, or a monument or piece of sculpture that affected them as profoundly as the little Polish boy affected Peter Fischl. I ask my students to brainstorm any images or photographs that represent for them an important moment or experience they will never forget. Amazingly, Minh-Dang (Mindy), a grandchild of Vietnamese boat refugees, recalls seeing in her history textbook a photograph of a Vietnamese girl running through the streets covered with napalm. I tell her I recall seeing that photograph, too, how it became emblematic of an entire era, and I suggest to her to try to write a poem on viewing that photograph. Other students recall images from the Kennedy assassination they have seen. I tell my students that some images like the little Polish boy, the napalmed young girl, or JFK Jr. saluting the coffin of his assassinated father are so profound that they become part of our collective consciousness, reflecting the feelings of an entire community or nation.

Next, I distribute the writing assignment. (See below.)

Ecphrastic Poetry Writing Assignment General Directions:

Find a photograph, piece of art, monument, or sculpture that profoundly affects or inspires you. If possible, strive to have this work affect you as the “Little Polish Boy” affected Peter L. Fischl. You may need to search for some time in libraries, photography books, and newspapers, as well as in your travels to museums, monuments, and memorials. Copy or acquire a copy of the work of art or photograph to display for the class. Your final poetic responses will be due at the completion of the unit. At that time you will present the image/work and your poetic response(s) to the class.

Step One: Find a Work That Affects You Profoundly

Step Two: Write a Poetic Response to That Work
Choose a Poetic Stance:

Describe what you see in detail, step by step.
Address a subject in the work
Take on the identity/persona of a subject in the work. Imagine what that subject is thinking or about to do. Or, let the subject speak.
Reflect upon what you see; meditate upon the moment of viewing.

Step Three: Copy or Acquire a Picture of the Work for Display

Step Four: Present Your Poem to the Class

After discussing the long-range assignment, I take my students to the school library to find images that affect them. They browse through photography and art books as well as magazines, newspapers, and popular literature. I have placed upon a central table collections of some of the most important photographers and photojournalists of our century: Edward Steichen, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Roman Vishniac, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorthea Lange, Robert Capra, Gordon Parks, and Brian Lanker, to name a few available in our high school library. My students consult photographic essays of important eras: photography of the Depression, World War II, the Holocaust, Korea, the Civil Rights Movement, and Vietnam, to name a few. Particularly popular collections are Roman Vishniac’s  A Vanished World, the Time/Life collections on each decade, The Family of Man, and recent Time/Life books such as The Meaning of Life Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We are Here.

I give my students several weeks to search for a work that truly inspires and engages them “to enter into the spirit.” The results of this researching and reflecting time prove to be highly productive, as students’ ecphrastic responses help them to enter, define, and develop a curriculum of peace.

Student Ecphrastic Poems

The poems my students produce from the long-range, follow-up lesson affirm the power of poetry to enable poet and reader alike to “enter the terrain” of human suffering, pain, and grief, expanding the circle of empathy connecting us all. Students respond to a wide range of works: art, sculpture, monuments, and photography. I offer here two examples of ecphrastic responses: one that connects photojournalism of the past to personal, family history and heritage; the other that sees recent photojournalism through the lens of our teaching of empathy.
Minh-Dang (Mindy) chooses to “enter that terrain” as she connects personal, family history in her poem of address to the photographic image of a fleeing, young Vietnamese girl covered with napalm:

Everything Stands Still

I close my eyes
And I hear your screams
You are running from the Devil
Who has taken your Home
Your Family
Your Clothes
And you are crying for me
For my hands and my help
To take away the hurt
And everything stands still . . .

I open my eyes
And sit in the road
As my Friends, my Family
Run past me
I see you fleeing our home
With your arms outstretched
Trying to fly from the fire
Trying to calm the burning
With the tears running down your face
And everything stands still . . .

This morning you played
You sang the songs of our home
And you tasted the fruits of our land
This morning our mother kissed you
Dressed you for the day
Combed the knots from your black hair
This morning you kissed our father
Before he went to the fields
And lost his life.

This afternoon
The screams came from the sky
Spreading tears of Hell
This afternoon our mother screamed
Somewhere where you could not reach her
And you knew you would never hear her voice again
This afternoon the gods were angry
And they stole your clothes and stung your eyes
Now you run to me

I open my arms
Ready to embrace you
And shelter you from the pain
Hoping to smooth your hair
Clothe your burning skin
Wipe your tears away
Your screams reach into my heart
How I wish that I could help you
I wish that our hands could meet
And everything stands still.

Sister, this morning you kissed the sun
This afternoon it fell from the sky
Your tears haunt me
Your cries echo in time
Just when I almost touch you
When I can almost save you
Everything stands still

You are my nightmare
You are my regret.

Lily chooses to “enter the terrain” as she views a recent photographic image of a skull buried in dirt in a Time magazine article on the war in Kosovo.

Morning Coffee, 7:42 A.M.

Today the paper said that
Thousands of bodies were found in
Landfills across Eastern Europe—

This body is half-decayed and blasted,
Hair shot back and half there, exposing
A broken-down skull, lined with cracks and
Footsteps, dirt-stained and parasitic—

I look to see what sex the thing is,
(I smoked too much last night and my lungs
feel tight and raspy, my throat is raw and tastes like
salt, and if I cough real hard I can still taste the
tobacco.) and the caption tells me it’s female—

Here a sexless, bloodless body shares the page
With a family on a picnic in central park—

Final Reflections

I am not so naive to think that poetry, ecphrastic or any other kind, could possibly “solve” all the problems of violence in our society. The underlying causes of one person’s inhumanity to another lie in centuries of practice, prejudice, and paradox unimaginable and unknowable. And yet, I am an English teacher, and I must do what I do best—teach the essence of my discipline. And what is that essence? It has been and always will be for me engagement—imaginatively, aesthetically, and emotionally—with “the text.” That engagement, the ability to enter into the spirit and feeling of others, defines what it is to be human, and that, I believe, is the heart of any curriculum of peace.

Students respond to a wide range of works: art, sculpture, monuments, and photography.

Lily reveals such engagement when she can no longer drink her morning coffee while turning the pages reflecting horror and tragedy in the magazine before her. I can think of no other weapon more important to combat violence, prejudice, and hatred than the heightened sensitivity of our young people to the plethora of horrific images of inhumanity in the media today.

Without question, the photograph of the little Polish boy and Peter Fischl’s response to it have touched the hearts and souls of my students, producing not only mature, serious, and empathetic poetry, but a transformational awareness that is both lifelong and portable.

Hopefully, through the teaching of empathy our curriculum of peace will take us one step closer to the time when, in Fischl’s words, “no one will have to go through what that little Polish boy went through again.”


  • The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language (New York: Lexicon Publications. Inc. 1989) offers a definition of empathy particularly useful for our purposes: “The power to enter into emotional harmony with a work of art and so derive aesthetic satisfaction; the power to enter into the feeling and spirit of others” [my italics].
  • The “Little Polish Boy” poster (28″H x 18W), including the photograph and reprinted poem beneath, is available from the Holocaust Resources and Materials catalogue, published by the Social Studies School Service. 10200 Jefferson Boulevard, Room J5, P.O. Box 802. Culver City CA 90232-0802 (1-800-421-4246) (Fax: 1-800-944-5432) catalogue #PFL100-J8: fee $12. (Includes a French translation of the poem.) The companion resource material, Light from the Yellow Star: A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust by Robert 0. Fisch, is also available at $9.95 in the paperback edition, Catalogue #0P136-J8.
  • The photograph of the little Polish boy was first published in The Report of Jurgen Stroop Concerning the Uprising in the Ghetto of Warsaw and the Liquidation of the Jewish Residential Area. It is accessible from the Simon Wiesenthal Center library 760 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles. California 90035. This amazing document, with an introduction by Professor B. Mark, serves as a testimony in the Nazi’s own words of Jewish heroism and resistance.
  • Note that the yellow star of David does not appear on the coat of the little Polish boy in the original photograph. Fischl takes poetic license and refers to it in the poem, as he and all Jews were required to wear the star.

Special Note

Teachers may secure permission free of charge from Holocaust artist Peter L. Fischl to teach his copyrighted poem. “To the Little Polish Boy Standing with His Arms Up,” by writing to him at PO Box 656, Burbank, CA 91503-0656. Please include your name, school address, approximate date of teaching the poem, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request.

Works Cited

Casagrande, June. “Burbank Poet to Appear at Holocaust Center.” The Burbank Leader 11 Feb. 1998: A10.

Fisch, Robert 0. Light from the Yellow Star: A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust. Minneapolis: Frederick Weisman Art Museum of the University of Minnesota, 1994.

Fischl, Peter L. “To the Little Polish Boy Standing with his Arms Up.” Archives of Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles, 1994.

——. The Burbank Leader 11 Feb. 1998.

“Glossary of’ Terms,” The Betrayal of Mankind. New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, 1994.

Gorrell, Nancy. “Teaching the Holocaust: Light from the Yellow Star Leads the Way.” English Journal 86.8 (1997): 50-55.

Hollander, John. The Gazer’s Spirit: Poems Speaking to Silent Works of Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Karski. Jan. “Foreword.” The Triumphant Spirit: Portraits and Stories of Holocaust Survivors . . . Their Messages of Hope and Compassion. Ed. Nick Del Calzo. Denver: Triumphant Spirit Publishing, 1997. 10.

“Word from the Ghetto.” Newsweek 8 March 1999: 47

NANCY GORRELL teaches at Morristown High School, Morristown, New Jersey. She was a 1997 recipient of English Journal’s Paul and Kate Farmer Award for her article, “Teaching the Holocaust: Light from the Yellow Star Leads the Way.”

  • #6 (no title)
  • A Conspiracy of Indifference
  • A Global Perspective on Working with Holocaust Survivors and the Second Generation
  • A Guide to Videos on Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • A Mother’s SHOAH
  • About
  • Annotated Bibliographies/Videographies
  • Annotated Videography on the Holocaust and Related Subjects
  • Applying the Lessons of the Holocaust: from Particularism to Universalism and Back
  • Book Reviews
  • Children’s Books about the Holocaust
  • Conferences/Events
  • Contact
  • Contemplating the Holocaust
  • David Katz – A Holocaust Survivor
  • Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?
  • Divided Lives The Untold Stories of Jewish-Christian Women in Nazi Germany
  • Donate
  • Editorials
  • Education about the Holocaust
  • Educational Resource Guide on the Holocaust
  • Eleanor’s Story
  • Essays/Publications
  • Every Day Live in the Warsaw Ghetto – 1941
  • Faces of Courage: Children Who Resisted
  • Facing the Lion: Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe
  • Faith in God and Man After Auschwitz: Theological Implications
  • Forging Freedom
  • Guestbook
  • Handicapped
  • Hannaleh’s Rescue
  • HEFI Logo
  • Hiding Places: A Father and His Sons Retrace Their Family’s Escape from the Holocaust
  • Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers
  • Holocaust Defined
  • Holocaust Responsa in the Kovno Ghetto
  • Holocaust Wall Hangings
  • Homosexuals
  • Humor in the Holocaust: Its Critical, Cohesive, and Coping Functions
  • In Sudan, Staring Genocide in the Face
  • Information Form
  • Intervision Volume No.1 Child Survivors: Forms of Intervention
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Keeping the Rescuers in Historical Perspective
  • Lesson Plans
  • Lida’s Story – Part 1
  • Lida’s Story – Part 2
  • Lida’s Story – Part 3
  • Lida’s Story – Part 4
  • Lida’s Story – Part 5
  • Lida’s Story – Part 6
  • Lida’s Story – Part 7
  • Lida’s Story – Part 8
  • Light From the Yellow Star
  • Links
  • Memories of the Night
  • Mission/Goals
  • Our Founder
  • Pack of Thieves: How Hitler and Europe Plundered the Jews and Committed the Greatest Theft in History
  • Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah’s Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime 1938-1945
  • Poles
  • Presentation to The Amsterdam Conference on Remembrance May 2001
  • Privacy Policy
  • Rekindling the Flame American Jewish Chaplains and the Survivors of European Jewry, 1944-1948
  • Remarks by Konrad Scharinger
  • Rethinking the Holocaust
  • Return to Life
  • Search Results
  • Sinti and Roma
  • Site Map
  • Spiritual, Educational, and Physical Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto
  • Stolen Childhood
  • Subscribe to our mailing list
  • Surviving Hatred: Witness to the Holocaust
  • Survivor Videos
  • TAK FOR ALT Survival of a Human Spirit
  • Teaching about the Holocaust
  • test-issuu
  • Testimonials
  • The Holocaust Education Program Resource Guide
  • The Holocaust Encyclopedia
  • The Image of Polish Jewry Between the Two World Wars
  • The Last Album
  • The Man Who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz George Mantello, El Salvador, and Switzerland’s Finest Hour
  • The Process of Commemorating Deeds of Heroism
  • The Uniqueness of the Holocaust
  • The Yellow Star
  • Theological and Halakhic Reflections on the Holocaust
  • To Bear Witness
  • To Life
  • Unmasking ‘Martyrdom’ A Holocaust Legacy 1939-2002
  • Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee
  • We are all targets
  • Website’s Origins and Vision
  • What did they know? American Jews and the Shoah
  • Where is God?
  • Teaching Empathy through Ecphrastic Poetry: Entering a Curriculum of Peace
  • The Holocaust in Perspective
  • The Holocaust in Perspective Teacher Manual
  • No Way Out
  • No Way Out Reader’s Theater
  • I Never Even Lived
  • Liberation