We signed up awhile back to go on a homeschool field trip to our local Holocaust Museum. So I asked J what he knew about the Holocaust and was totally taken aback when he said, “Nothing.” WOW! Ouch! Time to get to work! So about a week before the trip I thought to gather things to do and watch in preparation (I was pretty excited! This was good for me! Normally I think of things like this the day of the event – wishing I had thought to do something prior!). Anyway, I found a Holocaust lapbook by Hands of a Child at CurrClick ~ even though it may have been a little young for him (it was set for Grade 6 and up) I thought it would be a good way for him to learn a lot in the four days we had before the trip (Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday). I read through it first and was really amazed at how much was there – and being Hands of a Child I knew it wouldn’t be all gore and would be a “trusted source”.
Here is a sample of some of J’s work:
Then we rented several movies:
We have one more we got after the field trip that we still want to watch: The Courageous Heart of Irene Sendler.
So, Wednesday was our field trip – finally. We were “excited” to go and see what more we learned and saw. There were about 25 homeschoolers in our group and we had a guided tour that took about 1-1/2 hours.
One half of our group:
The other half:
“The Rise of Nazism”
The dark white lines are how many Jews were killed in that area. Poland had the most.
After the guided tour, we got to hear a Holocaust survivors story which lasted about 45 minutes. This part was a little bit of a downer because although he was a survivor, he was only 11 at the time and his parents got him out of Germany before anything really happened. [We had heard they sometimes have a lady speak who still has the tattoo the Germans gave her - I guess we were thinking it would be something more like that. An ACTUAL ACCOUNT of what a concentration camp was like.] Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoyed his story, we just expected something a little bit different.
Here is Walter, our speaker:
Overall we had an enjoyable time. We wished we’d had more time to walk around afterward to read the different things on the walls, but I was already late for work (which they knew I would be late due to the field trip…they asked me to work that day after we had already scheduled the field trip) so we couldn’t take any more time to walk around.
The two things I kept thinking during the tour were:
I don’t ever want to hear another person say, “What can one person do?” and the power of desensitization (which is a big thing for me anyway so I’ll try to stay off my soap box in this post)…from what the guide said, Hitler did not start out planning to kill anyone. But, by the time it was over SIX MILLION JEWS had been killed.
I would like to encourage you to make sure you share about the Holocaust with your children. As I understand it, many are trying to say it never happened. I believe it would be a very sad thing if we had to repeat history because we chose to pretend it never happened. It may not be an easy lesson to teach, but it is a necessity.
Praying you have a wonderfully blessed day,