HMH Workshop with Ephraim Kaye

LESSEphraim Kaye, Yad Vashem

  • How was it Humanly Possible? Pedagogy Guidebook $24.99
  • Desecrators of Memory: Confronting the Holocaust: $24.99
  • The Last Will and Testament of Adolph Hitler (written in Feb-April of 1945) written by Martin B?--> booklet of Hitler's thinking at the end of the war
  • HItler's Jewish Soldiers
  • The Voyage of the Damned- movie
  • The Sunflower

HOW WAS IT HUMANLY POSSIBLE? The Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Collaborators

VICTIMS: (Jews-- gypsies, political prisoners, homosexuals, Germans (T-4 Operation--mentally or physically disabled killed), Russian POW;Nazi racial concept had a hierarchy of ethnic groups; Jews were not on the list of acceptable ethnic groups (according to Nazi philosophy--> anti-race);
PERPETRATORS: Always had a choice--> examples of German military who said "no"--> not punished

HOLOCAUST (Greek/English translation): SHOAH (Hebrew Translation)-->Biblical terminology--> meaning horrendous tragedy/destruction--> word used Churban (CH= H)= destruction)

WWII: 40-60 million ppl died (mostly civilians)

  • For Hitler, Jews were the foundation of the original sin--> weakness in their philosophy of love thy neighbor made the human race weak; end of days for Hitler--> a time when there would be no more Jews
  • Antisemitism was not a new concept created by Hitler; it's just that a man with this level of cultural baggage came to be the head of state in the most culturally advanced nation in Europe at the time
  • SIDE NOTE (Golden Medina--> Mr. Kaye referred to America as the Golden Medina--> why not Mecca)
  • Why didn't they leave? Not so simple--> some came to America; after a while doors closed to many countries; some went to Palestine British Mandate--> but culturally/economically speaking there wasn't much development
  • With the victims--> it is important to speak about the people before they were victims (film--> Painful Reminder--> brought Germans to Bergen-Belsen to see the atrocities/participate in the burial--filmed to be shown to Germans to combat Holocaust denial); the film was put on ice due to the issue related to the division of Germany; the film can be used in pieces, but the Holocaust should not be taught just with masses of body
  • WHO WERE THE JEWS IN THE PRE-WAR PERIOD? What were they doing? cultural heritage
  • WHAT WERE THEY DOING DURING THE WAR? The survival of the Jews (iberleden); cultural and spiritual resistance (theater, poetry, art, giving birth--which was illegal)--> Choiceless Choices; even in death/work camps
  • WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE WAR? Where did the survivors go? How did they rebuild their lives

  • ORPO: German Police
  • 1. Preparing the Transport: what is the role of the cleaning woman--> what does this tell us about the German population?
  • 2. Boarding the Train: How do we see the author of this document? What kind of train is this? (regular passenger trains---had to buy a ticket/cattle cars used in easter Europe)
  • 3. The Train Moves: Who is he most concerned about? What is happening at each stop?
  • 4. The Journey: What is the problem? What is implied about the stationmaster? What does this reveal about Salitter
  • 5. The Journey's End: How does this document change your opinion of the author? What stereotypes does he reveal about Jews? (Not all are prominent in business)
  • WHAT ROLE IS SALITTER: Perpetrator, Collaborator, Rescuers/Upstanders, Bystander-->

DOCUMENT FROM HILDA SHERMAN--> On the same transport that Salitter wrote the report on:
  • Preparing for the Journey: how is this different from Salitter's doc? What is revealed about the bystanders?
  • Boarding the train: How is the portrayal of the SS guard different from Salitter's report?
  • The Train Moves: Issue of comfort in cars?
  • The Journey: How is the portrayal of stops different from Salitter? Describe her observation of what she sees on the trip? What does the advice on the postcard reveal about her understanding of what was going to happen to them?
  • The Journey's End:
  • How do we perceive Salitter after reading the survivor testimony?
  • How is our opinion changed about the survivor testimony knowing that it was written 20-30 years after the fact?
  • What is the impact of the Nazification of Germany?

What will we do when there aren't anymore Holocaust survivor? New project--> took people back to where they were born before the war and subsequently every stop along the way of their experience through liberation and return to life.

Hannah Bar-Yesha
Born in Uzohorod; large close-knit family;
went to a Jewish school;
Christian friends began to distance themselves
moved with her family to Auschwitz
two lines--> separated from father; sent
to work camp with mother--mother helped
her survive
moved to Israel where she found her uncle
became a biology teacher; still travels and
tells her story
Pre-teach: Jewish culture, concepts (religion, family life etc)