Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How many is 6 million?

There are a lot of different ways to try and illustrate how many 6 million is.

Putting the whole thing into perspective is very difficult. Even I, as an adult, can't truly fathom how many people died in the Shoah, the Holocaust. How, then, do I teach young people to comprehend it?

One teacher tried with paperclips.

Others have used pop-top lids, math tools, pennies, written words, and others.

In Glencoe, we use yellow flags. A field full of them, about 5000 in all, to honor the memory of the victims of the Shoah. Yellow flags that draw the eye, set in the middle of town, in Kalk Park.

Tonight, our 7th and 8th graders planted the field of flags.

(my husband, planting flags with his students)

And they heard the story of a woman, Kate Lipner, who saved many Jews in France during the war. Her incredible. And yet, she said "I am not a hero. I just did what I had to do." Our young people are rarely quiet. You could have heard a pin drop in the room as she spoke.

If you are in the area, drive through Glencoe before Friday afternoon. The flags are near the train station. Their beauty is stunning. So were all the lives lost.

Zecher tzadik livracha...may the memory of the righteous be for a blessing.
May we always remember. May we learn not to forget.


HipMomma said...

Beautiful. What a lesson learned.

Mama Zen said...

Wow! A beautiful way to teach.

ilanadavita said...

Beautiful story and pictures.

Head Gaggler said...

Wow, wonderful way to describe. Love the pictures.

Karen said...

Making the invisible visible is called beauty.

bella said...

stunning story.
thank-you for letting me know about the flags.
I think we will be taking a drive there with Leo.
Joining you in rememberence.

Leora said...


I think you tried to leave a comment on my blog. I loved your post, and I linked to it.

One comment about teaching children: I remember finding it all very scary as I child. So I would in some way try to teach the children about scary feelings, but tell them that they are safe. Maybe look at their faces?

I look forward to reading more of your blog.

the Mom said...

My grandfather was one of the US troops who liberated Buchenwald. He talked often of the horrors of it as he got older.

He was one of the guys assigned to bathing the children they found there. I still have the canteen he painted with a blue whale that the children used as a bath toy while he scrubbed them for lice. He talked about how thrilled they were with this simple homemade, completely improvised toy, but that they never laughed. These children who had seen such horrors rarely even smiled. His constant prayer until the day he died was that the children he saw would learn again to laugh and smile, and that their children would live to smile freely in a world which promised "Never Again."

G_d bless you and your family today and always.

Rivster said...

What a poignant way to remember...