"Studying the Holocaust changed the way I make decisions." - Student

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Books in our Library!

All of these books and more are available to check out from our new library! Please email Amanda@holocaustcenterseattle.org

Escape in Time: Miri's Riverting Tale of Her Family's Survival During World War II

By Ronit Lowenstein-Malz

Nessya’s grandmother, Miri Eneman Malz, has friends, a loving family—and a secret: she is a Holocaust survivor. When twelve-year-old Nessya learns the truth, she wants to know what happened. After decades of silence, Grandma Miri decides it’s time to tell her story. It all begins one terrible day in the spring of 1944, when Germany crosses Hungary’s border and soldiers arrive in Miri’s hometown of Munkács. Suddenly, the Jews are trapped and in danger. Surrounded by war and unimaginable hatred, the family makes a daring escape. But that is only the beginning, and over the course of the year new threats continually confront them. Incredibly, despite numerous close calls, they defy the odds and live. Based upon actual memoirs, this is the story of the Eneman family . . . of their remarkable ingenuity, astonishing luck, boundless courage, and unending love.

A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives During World War II

By Perter Grose 

The untold story of an isolated French community that banded together to offer sanctuary and shelter to over 3,500 Jews in the throes of World War II. Nobody asked questions, nobody demanded money. Villagers lied, covered up, procrastinated and concealed, but most importantly they welcomed.This is the story of an isolated community in the upper reaches of the Loire Valley that conspired to save the lives of 3,500 Jews under the noses of the Germans and the soldiers of Vichy France. It is the story of a pacifist Protestant pastor who broke laws and defied orders to protect the lives of total strangers. It is the story of an eighteen-year-old Jewish boy from Nice who forged 5,000 sets of false identity papers to save other Jews and French Resistance fighters from the Nazi concentration camps. And it is the story of a community of good men and women who offered sanctuary, kindness, solidarity and hospitality to people in desperate need, knowing full well the consequences to themselves.

The Story of an Underground: The Resistance of the Jews of Kovno in the Second World War
By Dov Levin & Zvie A. Brown 
This is the story of the fighting underground of the Jews of Kovno, Lithuania, in World War II. The authors, historians Zvie A. Brown and Dov Levin, were themselves members of the Kovno underground, and this well-researched book based on documentary material, verbal testimonies, and written memoirs of witnesses, among other sources is supplemented by the authors own personal accounts. The authors here describe the first steps of the organized Jewish underground in the Kovno Ghetto, its desperate search for allies outside the ghetto, and its first bloodstained attempts to break through the ring of isolation and establish a base of support for partisan battle. They relate the insurgence at its height: contacts with partisans in the forest, acquisition of weapons and equipment, and training of fighters for partisan warfare. The authors paint a picture of daily life in the partisan brigades, including the tense relationship between the Jewish and non-Jewish fighters. They relate the final days of the underground as the ghetto was being destroyed, and then the last journey of the Kovno brigades from the forest bases back to liberated Kovno.

The Diary of Rywka Lipszyc: Found in Auschwitz by the Red Army in 1945 and first published in San Francisco in 2014

Here is the extraordinary Diary of Rywka Lipszyc, finally published 70 years after it was created. Handwritten in a school notebook between October 1943 and April 1944, this remarkable diary depicts the nightmare of life under the Nazis in Poland's infamous Lodz ghetto-through the eyes of a brilliant, 14-year-old Jewish girl. With the eloquence of an innocent, Rywka vividly chronicles the disease, starvation, deportations, fear and cruelty she witnessed. She lost her entire family-parents, brother, and two sisters-in Nazi ghettos and killing centers. Yet in the face of despair, she reveals a belief in God and a faith in humanity that inspired in her a determination to live. In 1945, Rywka's diary was found in the ruins of the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoria by a doctor serving with the liberating Soviet Army. For more than a half-century the diary remained among the doctor's private possessions, until after her death, when her granddaughter emigrated from the USSR and brought it to Jewish Family and Children's Services' Holocaust Center in San Francisco. Sensitively translated, with footnotes, historical essays, photographs, maps, news clippings, and the gripping story of the recent search for Rywka Lipszyc-whose fate has never been determined-this book is sure to enter the ranks of the most poignant Holocaust testimonies, a tale of darkness and light, faith and love.

From the Red Desert to Jerusalem

By Elia Kahvedjian 

From the Red Desert to Jerusalem is the remarkable autobiography of a remarkable man. Urfa-born Elia Kahvedjian witnessed the Genocide of Armenians as a 5-year-old boy. The book tells of his adventures in the badlands of Turkey and Syria, his eventual move to Jerusalem, and his many achievements as a top photographer, painter, and community leader in the Holy City. The book was translated into English by his eldest son Harout Kahvedjian of Toronto.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Confused by the recent ruling? So were we. "Serbia and Croatia Didn't Commit Genocide"

We were a bit confused by this ruling and court case and sought out insight from a few individuals who could help clarify the situation.

"Serbia and Croatia Didn’t Commit Genocide in 1990s, U.N. Court Rules"

Associated Press. Feb. 3, 2015.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The United Nations' top court ruled Tuesday that Serbia and Croatia did not commit genocide against each other's people during the bloody 1990s wars sparked by the breakup of Yugoslavia.


Dr. James Waller, Author and Professor, Genocide Studies at Keane College, NH
Very simply, this new ICJ ruling is ONLY about allegations of genocide by Croatia against Serbia and counter-allegations of genocide by Serbia against Croatia.  The court found that neither country committed genocide against each other’s people during the war.  So, the only countries involved in this new case are Serbia and Croatia…they did horrible things to each other’s citizens and on each other’s territory, but, according to the court, nothing amounting to genocide.
This judgment has NOTHING to do with the ICJ’s previous 2007 ruling on Srebrenica and Serb atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina (a completely different country).  So, the court’s previous ruling on Srebrenica as genocide still stands.

Here’s also a good news link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31104973.

Selena Salihovic Hutchins
The article specifically addresses the Croatian and Serbian populations, not the Bosniak (Muslim) population. I think, in a way, this ruling will be helpful toward the pending Hague trials because we have had some folks on trial at the Hague respond that they (Serbian generals) sent their armies to kill Muslim populations because they felt threatened by outside populations. Stating that a genocide was not attempted on Serbian populations makes these arguments moot. 

I will say, though, that my parents and I are refraining from going because while it has been years since the war, tensions are very high again. 

Marie Berry, PhD, Genocide Studies
If I understand this correctly, this ruling just applies to Serbian crimes in Croatia (and vice versa), so doesn't apply to crimes in Bosnia. Since Srebrenica was in Bosnia, this ruling doesn't change anything related to the legal definition of that massacre as genocide. While the article references a 2007 ICJ judgement about Belgrade not being responsible for the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, this is misleading, as the court did find that the massacre at Srebrenica was genocide and that the individual Serb forces that committed the atrocities were responsible for genocide. The decision simply did not find that the state of Serbia as a whole was responsible. 

But frankly, this NYTimes piece does a terrible job of spelling that out and makes it seem like this ruling is a big shock. I think the take away is that Serb forces committed genocide in Bosnia (especially in the Drina Valley region, but arguments have also been made for genocidal crimes in the Krajina region and elsewhere as well), but that their engagements in the rest of the region (and in other parts of Bosnia) should be considered part of a civil war, not a genocide.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marie-Anne at Seabury Middle School

Last week, Continuing Generations speaker, Marie-Anne Harkness spoke to students at Seabury Middle School in Tacoma.  Check out their blog to see pictures and hear about her visit!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Books in Our Library

By Gene Printz-Kopelson, September 2014

How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust 
By Dan McMillan
(New York: Basic Books, 2014)

Adolph Hitler had thousands of willing accomplices in his plan to exterminate European Jewry. Dan McMillan reviews how Hitler easily found men to do the job. In all the postwar trials, there was not one example of punishment for failure to follow orders to kill Jews.

 Unlike the typical fanatical SS units, he cites Reserve Police Battalion 101: a group of 500 uniformed Germans who shot 38,000 Polish Jews and who rounded up another 45,000 and forced them into cattle cars headed to the gas chambers of Treblinka. The police were ordinary Germans, not Nazi fanatics, who had been drafted into the army. Many had voted against the Nazi Party in 1933.

When first told of their orders, their commander offered that they could be assigned other duties; only ten of the 500 did. The remainder began their first massacre of unarmed Jews. Offers to opt out of the killings continued with few takers.
The author delves into three factors explaining their willingness to kill the innocent: obedience to authority, the need to conform to group behavior, and the tendency for a person to adapt to any role they must fulfill and adjust their notion of morality.

This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the true roots of how the holocaust happened.

The Whispering Town
By Jennifer Elvgren
(Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2014)

Little Anett lives in a small Danish town during the Nazi occupation. One day her parents tell her they have new friends living in the basement. Each day Anett goes to town to buy extra supplies and brings food and books to her new friends. The Nazis are searching for hidden Jews and Anett stands up to them. She and her father arrange that the townspeople whisper directions to the escaping Jews to guide them at night safely to the harbor to board rescue boats to Sweden.

This is a heart-warming illustrated children’s book explaining the true story of one town’s joint  rescue of Danish Jewry during the High Holydays of 1943. Young readers will find this a good introduction to the holocaust.

Gifts from the Enemy
By Trudy Ludwig
(Ashland: White Cloud Press, 2014)

Jewish teenager Alter is taken from his loving family by Nazis and sent to a forced labor camp. At the point when he almost gives up, a kindly German woman factory worker secretly leaves him food every day for a month. He is stronger, physically and emotionally, from this kindly act and survives the holocaust. He realizes that there are good and bad people in every group.

This illustrated holocaust children’s book is made not too frightening for young readers and its optimistic theme is  another good introductory book about the holocaust.

Hope is the Last to Die
By Halina Birenbaum
(Oswiecim: Publishing House of the State Museum, 2012)

Ten year old Halina witnesses the outbreak of World War II when her native Poland is defeated by the Nazis. She experiences the horrors of the holocaust first hand living underneath the city streets during the 1943 Warsaw Jewish Rebellion. Witnessing SS cruelty and murders, she is sent to Majdanek concentration camp where the horrors worsen. Forced labor, starvation, diarrhea were only part of the sufferings she endured. Miraculously, one German crosses her name off the list of those selected to die. She watches her sister-in-law slowly die. She is sent from one labor camp to the next until finally in Auschwitz is freed by Russian soldiers. Miraculously after the war she finds one of her two brothers alive in Warsaw.

This autobiography is one of hundreds to document Nazi atrocities that also sends a message of hope because the victim survived. It documents in detail life in the Warsaw ghetto and in several concentration camps including Majdanek and Auschwitz.

If you would like to borrow any of these books, or other books about the Holocaust that we offer, please contact admin@wsherc.org for more information on our free library

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Inspiring change one teacher at a time

"Meagan Talbot, along with two other teachers at her school, have requested the use of three of our classroom sets of books.  This is the second year the school has used all three sets at one time. We emailed her and asked her to tell us a little bit more about what she is doing.  Here is her response!" - Ilana Cone Kennedy, Director of Education

Today is the first day of school, and so far everything has gone quite well! We are all 8th grade Language Arts teachers and we collaborate on a Holocaust unit. Our anchor text is “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne, which all students read.  We also have students select one novel of their choice about the Holocaust. We use your trunks to help students select a novel about people who experienced the Holocaust. Students do a number of essays, class discussions, and presentations about their findings. We also read many survivor accounts, articles, share pictures and artifacts, watch historical videos and watch videos of survivor accounts, and read poetry as supplements.  Students really love the unit and come to be quite passionate about sharing the experiences they read about in their student selected texts. It’s amazing to watch them go from knowing nothing about the Holocaust and WWII, to understanding how it slowly grew into the Holocaust, and how people were able to survive it physically and emotionally. We do this unit at the beginning of the school year, and it’s amazing how students connect to it, and refer back to all year. Your trunks are an incredible resource, and we so appreciate the opportunity to use them!
Thank you!
Meagan Talbot
6th and 8th English Language Arts
North Whidbey Middle School

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We are changing our name Nov. 1!

On November 1, 2014, we will be changing our name to:

Find us at our new website - www.HolocaustCenterSeattle.org! (Starting Nov. 1)

New name, new website, new logo.  Same services, resources, and programs - better than ever. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Writing, Art, and Digital Media Contest

Thank you to everyone who entered our 2013 Writing, Art, and Digital Media Contest!  Thank you as well to all of the teachers and parents who encouraged the students to learn and reflect on the difficult teachings of the Holocaust!

Judging is now under way and we can't wait to see who this year's winners will be!  Below are just a few of the over 700 entries!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Meet Our Summer 2014 Interns!


Hello!  My name is Julia Thompson and this is my second summer as an intern here at WSHERC. I just finished my junior year as a History major at Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA), and I've been lucky enough to receive grants from Whitman both this year and last to work at the Center.

This past semester I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Prague. While in Europe I was able to travel around the Czech Republic and beyond. Exploring Europe, visiting World War II and Holocaust sites, and learning a huge amount about the region's history and culture has certainly made my work at the Holocaust Center this summer feel even more meaningful. 

Right now I am tackling several exciting projects: revamping and automating the Center's library, working on teaching kits with artifact replicas, and other tasks that come my way. When I'm not hard at work I enjoy hiking, reading, baking, and road trips. During the school year I'm a tutor at the Whitman Writing Center, active in my sorority, and study piano.

Every day at the Center brings new challenges as well as fun, educational, and meaningful experiences. I'm so grateful to be back and to be a part of all the wonderful things the Holocaust Center has going on! 

Hello everyone -

My name is Philip Kikawa and this is my first summer working at the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. Come the fall, I will be starting my junior year as a History major at Roger Williams University in Bristol Rhode Island.

At Roger Williams I have taken several courses on World War II in Europe and the Pacific - the most interesting one being a one-on-one study of the US Navy in the Pacific. This coming semester I will be taking several courses on the war in Europe and the Holocaust. When I am not working I enjoy skiing, fishing, sailing and reading.

At the Center, I am currently working on several projects including transcribing survivor testimonies and organizing educational material. The work I have been doing here has been immensely rewarding and enjoyable. I am looking forward to incorporating what I am learning to my education at collage.

The experiences I have gained working at the center have been fun, challenging, interesting and important and it is a great pleasure to be working with such a passionate group of individuals.


Hi all!

My name is Sophie Jones and I am the newest intern at the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. I have been fortunate enough to work with the Holocaust Center through Teens In Public Service; a local organization that awards summer internships to high school students across the region.

Come fall, I will be a senior at Roosevelt High School. I have served on the staff of The Roosevelt News for two years and next year I will assume the role of head editor. I am also committed to the Hands for a Bridge program at Roosevelt, a nonprofit that works to promote social justice and bring South Africans together despite the lasting effects of Apartheid. Outside of school, I volunteer regularly with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, the local branch of a nationwide organization dedicated to women’s rights and reproductive health.

I couldn't be more excited for my summer with the Holocaust Center. I look forward to being a part of such a fantastic team of dedicated individuals, and I’m eager to learn more about both the history of the Holocaust and the Center’s work.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thank you Rochester High School!

In May, Teacher Sarah Thomas brought students from her semester Holocaust and genocide class to the Holocaust Center for a visit.  Sarah has been bringing students to the Holocaust Center to hear a survivor speak and to study artifacts for the past 10 years.

The students had the opportunity to hear from survivor Steve Adler and to explore artifacts in the Holocaust Center's collection.

Thank you Sarah Thomas for your dedication to Holocaust education. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Advanced Seminar
Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights: 70 Years After Auschwitz & 20 Years After Rwanda

Monday, August 18, 2014  |  at Seattle University | 12:00pm - 5:00pm. 
Film and discussion 6:30pm-8:30pm.

Seminar will include sessions on Rwanda, human Rights, genocide in the 20th and 21st centuries, and a screening of the award winning documentary, "Finding Hillywood."  Producer Leah Warshawski will lead a discussion after the film.  Film and discussion will be open to the public.

An advanced seminar geared towards educators who have taught these subjects previously and are looking for professional development either personally or to approach the subjects in greater depth with their students.  Others will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

$50. Includes lunch, all seminar materials, clock hours, and admission to the film, "Finding Hillywood." (No one will be turned away for an inability to pay.)

More information and registration

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Check out" the latest editions to our Library and DVD collection!

Look what just arrived! Theses books and DVDs are sure to inspire and enlighten. Want to check out one of these books or DVDs? Email: admin@wsherc.org to make your request!


A People Uncounted: The Untold Story of the Roma 

A People Uncounted tells the story of the Roma, commonly referred to as Gypsies-a people who have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture. 
The Roma have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution in Europe, most notably the Holocaust genocide where an estimated 500,000 were murdered. A People Uncounteddocuments their culturally rich yet often difficult lives, and demonstrates how their present state has been deeply shaped by the tragedies of the past.  

Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home 

In the late 1930s, following the ferocious anti-Jewish violence of Kristallnacht, a determined group of young German Jews left behind everything that was dear and familiar and immigrated to Chicago. Here, these refugees set out to create a supportive community for themselves and others fleeing Nazi persecution, eventually establishing the Selfhelp Home for the oldest among them. REFUGE is a one-hour documentary that reaches back more than 70 years to give a voice to its last generation of victims of Nazi persecution and tell the story of this singular community that has provided a safe haven to more than 1,000 Central European Jewish refugees and survivors.


Beyond Courage: The Untold Stories of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
Doreen Rappaport

Under the noses of the military, Georges Loinger smuggles thousands of children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. In Poland, four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees into the forest to build a guerilla force and self-sufficient village. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb. Through twenty-one meticulously researched accounts — some chronicled in book form for the first time — Doreen Rappaport illuminates the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews across eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. In answer to the genocidal madness that was Hitler’s Holocaust, the only response they could abide was resistance, and their greatest weapons were courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying. 

The Red Umbrella: Danish Resistance and Johna's Escape from Nazi Occupation 
Johma Christensen

Over 99% of the Danish Jews were rescued in WWII by the Danish people. The Red Umbrella is a young girl’s memoir of life during WWII Nazi occupation of Copenhagen, Denmark during 1943-1945.
Little Johna Christensen lived with a Jewish Mother’s family, a Danish Father’s family, a birth defect and a Nazi Occupation. It is an astounding story of a complex life including religion, politics, crime, brothels, war, affairs, rescue, redemption and ultimate joy. Women and men of courage and character are forced to be both heroes and villains. It is very different from any other Holocaust story.

Children of Siberia: Memoirs of Lithuanian Exiles 
Irena Kurtinaityte Aras and Vidmantas Zavadskis
A collections of the memories of 16 Lithuanians who were exiled to Siberia in their infancy or childhood.

The Exiles Return 
Elisabeth de Waal 
Vienna is demolished by war, the city an alien landscape of ruined castles, a fractured ruling class, and people picking up the pieces. Elisabeth de Waal’s mesmerizing The Exiles Return is a stunningly vivid postwar story of Austria’s fallen aristocrats, unrepentant Nazis, and a culture degraded by violence.

I Kiss Your Hands Many Times: Hearts, Souls and Wars in Hungary 
Marianne Szegedy-Maszak
Framed by a cache of letters written between 1940 and 1947, Szegedy-Maszák’s family memoir tells the story, at once intimate and epic, of the complicated relationship Hungary had with its Jewish population—the moments of glorious humanism that stood apart from its history of anti-Semitism—and with the rest of the world. She resurrects in riveting detail a lost world of splendor and carefully limns the moral struggles that history exacted—from a country and its individuals.

Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising 
Alexandra Richie 
 Warsaw 1944 tells the story of this brave, and errant, calculation. For more than sixty days, the Polish fighters took over large parts of the city and held off the SS’s most brutal forces. But in the end, their efforts were doomed. Scorned by Stalin and unable to win significant support from the Western Allies, the Polish Home Army was left to face the full fury of Hitler, Himmler, and the SS. The crackdown that followed was among the most brutal episodes of history’s most brutal war, and the celebrated historian Alexandra Richie depicts this tragedy in riveting detail. Using a rich trove of primary sources, Richie relates the terrible experiences of individuals who fought in the uprising and perished in it. Her clear-eyed narrative reveals the fraught choices and complex legacy of some of World War II’s most unsung heroes.

Testimony: The Legacy of Schindler's List and The USC Shoah Foundation
USC Shoah Foundation with Introduction by Steven Spielberg
A special 140-page section tells the riveting story of the film in photos, script excerpts, and the words of the cast and crew, including Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Spielberg. Drawing from the Universal Pictures archives and exclusive interviews, here are details on Spielberg’s struggle to bring Oskar Schindler’s story from novel to script to screen, the casting, cinematography, and especially what happened during the difficult shoot in Poland in 1993—on locations where actual events of the Holocaust occurred. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Check out what Peter Metzelaar is up to!

Check out the article below from KTVB in Boise, Idaho! Peter Metzelaar spoke to 300 middle schools students! Great article- read it!


Noemi Ban Speaks in Spokane!

Survivor Noemi Ban speaks to students at Trentwood Middle School in Spokane.  Trentwood School teacher Julie Scott and Otis School teacher Loriann Howe are committed to teaching their students about the Holocaust and have brought survivors to their school for over 15 years.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Meet Our New Education Assistant!

Meet Rachel Rasmus, our new Education Assistant! 

One beautiful, cold Sunday morning, Rachel arrived at the Holocaust Center with the 6th grade Sunday School class from Temple De Hirsch Sinai for a class field trip. After ensuring all students were in the building, Rachel took a moment to look around. Immediately, Rachel felt a connection and knew she had to get involved! The WSHERC encompasses Rachel's life passions: history and Jewish education. 

Rachel graduated in March 2013 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Social Studies from Western Washington University. During her studies, Rachel focused her attention on Holocaust and Jewish studies- taking every class Western had to offer on the subjects! While at Western, Rachel also received her Washington State Teacher Certification for 8-12th grade, completing the certification process as a student teacher at the Jewish Day School in Bellevue. 

Rachel's passion for Jewish education also shines through at Temple De Hirsch Sinai, working in the Religion School and as the TDHS Youth Group Advisor. 

With Rachel's education background and her passion for history, we welcome her aboard as our Education Assistant! We cannot wait to see all she will accomplish! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Books in the Library!

Last week I mentioned some of the new DVDs we have available; this week I'm highlighting a few of our new books!

Dividing Hearts:
The Removal of Jewish Children from Gentile Families in
Poland in the Immediate Post Holocaust Years

by Emunah Nachmany Gafny

From the back cover:
"It is difficult for us to agree that because of financial limitations, Jewish children will not be able to return to their people. That was undoubtedly the last wish of the parents who were martyred -- that their children should return to Judaism." (Members of the presidium of the Zionist Koordynacja for the Redemption of Children)

These words express the feelings of the Jewish activists in Poland after the Holocaust. Shortly after the liberation of Poland from Nazi occupation, several Jewish organizations were created in order to locate Jewish children who had been hidden during the war by Polish Christians, so as to transfer them to Jewish children's homes.

Emunah Nachmany Gafny's book deals with questions posed by these operations: Why did several organizations come into being for the same purpose? What were the relations among them? What was the nature of the operations of each body? What were the reactions of the Polish rescuers? How did Polish courts view the removal of the children to Jewish orphanages? What was the attitude of the Church? How did the children themselves react?


The Momuments Men:
Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
by Robert M. Edsel

From the Author's Note:
"Most of us are aware that World War II was the most destructive war in history. We know of the horrific loss of life; we've seen images of the devastated European cities. [...] But what if I told you there was a major story about World War II that hasn't been told, a significant story at the heart of the entire war effort, involving the most unlikely group of heroes you've never heard of?  What if I told you there was a group of men on the front lines who quite literally saves the world as we know it; a group that didn't carry machine guns or drive tanks, who weren't official statesmen; men who not only had the vision to understand the grave threat to the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of civilization, but then joined the front lines to do something about it?

These unknown heroes were known as the 'Monuments Men,' a group of soldiers who served in the Western Allied military effort from 1943 until 1951. Their initial responsibility was to mitigate combat damage, primarily to structures -- churches, museums, and other important monuments. As the war progressed and the German border was breached, their focus shifted to locating movable works of art and other cultural items stolen or otherwise missing. During their occupation of Europe, Hitler and the Nazis pulled off the "greatest theft in history," seizing and transporting more than five million cultural objects to the Third Reich. The Western Allied effort, spearheaded by the Monuments Men, thus became the "greatest treasure hunt in history," with all the unimaginable and bizarre stories that only war can produce."

Coming to theaters February 2014! Film website and trailer: http://www.monumentsmen.com/


The Weaver's Scar: For Our Rwanda
by Brian Crawford (local author!)

From the publisher:
"The Weaver's Scar is the first young adult novel written in English and for an American audience dealing directly with the Rwandan genocide.

It is a story of a Rwandan boy who manages to escape the 1994 genocide of the Tutsis and make it to America. It is a story that is both horrific and inspiring.

Faustin is a normal schoolboy growing up and very good at running and soccer. But dark secrets of the past hang over his family, and his father disapproves of his friends and his football games. Things only start to make sense when the teachers at school begin to emphasize the division between the Tutsis and Hutus, a division that even makes its way to the soccer field.

As the terrible events of the genocide unfold, Faustin discovers what caused his father’s disability, experiences the cruelty of his schoolteachers, and sees first-hand the horror of neighbor against neighbor. With his family slain, his only chance of survival lies in his running and sheer courage to outwit the enemy. He does not have to do it alone, as he discovers the value and courage of an unlikely friend."

For teachers who might be interested in using this book in the classroom, there is also a teacher guide available from the publisher. Check out the website for more information: http://www.rfwp.com/book/weavers-scar-for-our-rwanda.