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The 2012 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust will focus on the theme “Children and the Holocaust”. The United Nations will remember the one-and-a-half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust, together with the thousands of Roma and Sinti children, the disabled and others, who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. Some children managed to survive in hiding, others fled to safe havens before it was too late, while many others suffered medical experiments or were sent to the gas chambers immediately upon arriving at the death camps.
Dedicated to my Mom Sonia Welis Frenkel (God rest her soul) Butterfly by Sonia's grandson: Matt Chateauneuf
Yesterday was the International Holocaust Memorial Day and the theme this year is children. For the last week I had been up having nightmares and working so hard to organize an event on Facebook; an idea I had never used before. To my amazement we have almost 160 people who joined and I believe the list will continue to grow.You can see it here.
I am the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. My mother Sonia Frenkel was a survivor of Majdanek, one of the harshest concentration camps in Poland, and Auschwitz as well. Before passing away in 1991, she requested that I teach the next generation about the Holocaust. It was important to her that the young learn about the Holocaust. I wanted to honor my mother’s request and go a step further. I decided to educate the young about the Holocaust by promoting tolerance among children around the world. I wanted to personalize this unit as possible so that younger students could learn about some of the victims and hear other views without dwelling on the horrors. My goal was to also create something new and innovative in the teaching of the Holocaust that would coincide with curriculum usage. While it was personally difficult, I felt it was a task I had to undertake.
Last year the United Nations declared an International Day for Holocaust Remembrance. This motivated me even more to involve as many educators in my project as possible. As a result, children from many different countries participated in our Holocaust Unit and contributed wonderful materials for everyone’s benefit around the world. At the same time there were educational benefits, they increased reading, writing, and thinking skills creating or using different software programs and more.
But above all they have hopefully become better people.