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Synopsis

Do young people today find meaning in the Holocaust? That’s the question that prompted a writing project across North America, Italy, and Australia asking young people to share their ideas about this time in history. Some students wrote short stories. Some discussed the impact of books they had read and wrote about the messages that they understood from these books. Several interviewed survivors and recorded their impressions. Many talked about how they have tried to make sense of this history in the world in which they now live. Others created works of art. Children wrote from their hearts with sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and great insight. Their teachers saw this opportunity as a gift, and it proves to all that young people can make a meaningful connection to the Holocaust. Their contributions give hope for a more peaceful and tolerant future, as in this excerpt from one grade 8 student’s letter to Otto Frank, after visiting the Anne Frank house: “I cannot imagine what it would have been like for you and your family not to stand on green grass or smell fresh air – not to do the simple things that I take for granted. … I am writing you this letter now, not because my teacher, mother, friends, or family told me to, but because my heart did. … You were able to live the unimaginable and then move forward. For that I would like to say thank you.”

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