From the Beacon: Books help teach Holocaust lessons

Tuesday, April 21st is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. History can be difficult to comprehend. Especially those times when humankind’s cruelty struck in full force. Explaining to young people how these times come about and how human beings can exterminate millions of others can be extremely daunting.   

These books from the Beaufort County Library collection can help young people witness some pieces of the shattered humanity of the Holocaust.   The reader, adult or child, can perhaps in some small way begin to grasp the meaning of one of history’s darkest moments. 
Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II by Marisabina Russo
In this very personal book about how one woman survived the Holocaust,  Russo has retold and illustrated events told to her by her grandmother. Just as the grandmother is able to make her granddaughter better understand the impact of the Holocaust upon one person, this book allows the young reader to understand the pain suffered by one in the sea of people damaged and destroyed by the hatred at that time.
Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen As told to Michell R. McCann by Luba Tryszynska-Frederick with illustrations by Ann Marshall
Luba Tryszynska helped rescue and hide 54 children from the guards at Bergen-Belsen. For four months, she managed to motivate other prisoners to help protect, feed and clothe the children, all the time risking her own execution. When the camp was liberated in April of 1945, all but two of the children had survived. For her courage she not only received the everlasting love and loyalty of “her children” but also Netherlands’s Silver Medal of Honor for Humanitarian Services.
The Flag with Fifty-six Stars by Susan Goldman Rubin with illustrations by Bill Farnsworth
This book tells the story of a flag in the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It is a flag made out of course sheets and prison uniforms… and fifty-six stars! The prisoners who had made the flag as an appreciation surprise for their liberators did not know exactly how many states there were and guessed slightly higher. Still, when the liberators saw the flag and realized what it meant to the prisoners, they flew the flag over the newly liberated camp. This is a story, not only of surviving the horrors of the Holocaust, but of knowing the hope that so many have had in our flag.
The Little Boy Star by Rachel Hausfater with illustrations by Olivier Latyk
The subtitle of this book is “An Allegory of the Holocaust.” The little “star boy” in the tale is at first proud of his uniqueness, but then is made to be ashamed of being a “star” by others. The others threaten to extinguish the star boy. He manages to survive, however, and not only regains his pride but shines even greater. This is a profoundly simple way of beginning to learn about an extremely painful subject.