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Posted on June 13th, 2012, by

 

The Holocaust has always been a topic of heated debated among different people. It is an obvious fact that history cannot be depicted objectively. It is part of people’s life and people represent it through their understanding. Today, in the peaceful days when people may have all comforts of life, earn great money, travel all over the world and enjoy their living, it may seem that the war, the Holocaust, the discrimination and other historical events are exaggerated.

It is difficult to imagine the fear of being found, depression and stress every day, starvation and sufferings if you never come through these feelings. The new generation can get information about those events only from books and articles in the Internet because eyewitnesses of the Holocaust are almost dead or too old to tell about them. The further this tragic history is, the less important it seems. However, it is not true. It is history of the mankind, and the evidence of it we can find in different concentration camps which have become museums nowadays. It is a difficult topic, especially for interpretation for children, however, it is in no way unpleasant. It is a tragic part of the history, but silence and ignorance does not mean that it did not exist.

Reading Anne Frank’s Diary and Ida Fink’s The Key Game, you start realizing that such feelings and emotions cannot be artificial or imaginary. Anne Frank, being just a teenager, presents her still childish but such alive and touching vision of the difficult life circumstances all the Jewish came through. She was a happy child with a happy childhood and happy family, as most children today, however her life changes in a short period of time. At the age of twelve she writes in such a sophisticated style and expresses such serious philosophical thoughts that it is difficult to believe that she is just a teenager. The Holocaust changes her life, her family’s life and, as it further becomes obvious from the history, the life of the whole Jewish nation. It is an event of the global importance and it presumes appropriate attitude to it.

The special interest and value of Anne Frank’s Diary is the fact that it is written by a young girl who describes real events of her life and who is not able to imagine them. This diary is interesting for both adults and teenagers. For adults it is interesting from the historical perspective and for teenagers it is interested from the emotional side. Anne is very young and she comes through such difficult life tests. Reading such books modern teenagers may learn a lot about the Holocaust. Moreover, Diary by Anne Frank helps them to realize on the example of the particular girl and her family that the Holocaust was really a tragedy. Anne writes in her diary: I was stunned. A call-up, everyone knows what that means. Visions of concentration camps and lonely cells raced through my head (Frank). These words create terrible pictures in our imagination and make us think about Jewish people’s life during the Holocaust.

Another short story that can be used while speaking and teaching about the Holocaust is The Key Game by Ida Fink.

It is very short, just one page, however, it presents all the ugliness and danger of these historical events. It also tells us a story of one particular Jewish family, however, reading this story you start realizing the level of the tragedy for the Jewish nation. Parents teach their small son a terrible key game in case the Nazis come and look for them. The last phrase is really terrific: He’s dead, the child answered and threw himself at his father, who was standing right beside him, blinking his eyes in that funny way, but who was already long dead to the people who would really ring the bell (Fink). It was a tragedy of all Jewish people: adults, old people and children. Children had to act as grown-up people, they were deprived of their childhood and thousands of children were tortured to death during this period.

Such books, as Diary and The Key Game have great influence and leave deep impression in people’s hearts. You start interpreting this event in the history of the mankind as not just one of the historical events, but as a real tragedy with real people, real destinies and real victims of the Holocaust. We can judge about this impact from another short story Holocaust Girls: History, Memory, and Other Obsessions by S.L. Wisenberg. This story depicts two sisters who have been influenced by Anne Frank’s destiny and who start playing an imaginary game. The girls live in the USA, but they imagine that they are hiding from the Nazis during the war. However, they realize that it is just a game and they can end it any time in contrast to Anne Frank and her family.

To sum up, the Holocaust has become a tragic but very important lesson in the history of the mankind. It is necessary to remember about it and to realize the level of the tragedy.

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