Youth Caught in the Hungarian Holocaust: Making the Holocaust more than facts, photographs and statistics.
According to The Holocaust Memorial Museum (2001), studies of the Holocaust need to show the victims in the statistics as people with diverse experiences. Students, and especially adolescents, need to understand who the victims, bystanders and perpetrators were, what was taken from people and what happened to them after the war. Adolescents need to realize that the victims included children and teens who also confronted issues of fairness, justice, identity, peer pressure, conformity, indifference, obedience and defiance because someone determined they were different, inferior and the cause of problems.
Stories written by authors who experienced the Holocaust as teenagers or children make this history immediate, real and personal. Adolescents seek authenticity when getting information. These stories are not only authentic, but are filled with emotionally charged images, phrases and ideas that young people understand. By including events and characters that may relate to the reader’s life and stimulate emotional responses, these stories become powerful tools for reflecting on the students’ personal lives, fostering thinking, nurturing empathy, developing comprehension and provoking emotional intelligence (Ghosn and Langer).
Wayne Brinda (United States)
Prime Stage Theatre
Artistic Director of Prime Stage, Doctoral candidate at Duquesne University School of Education,
Teacher at the Oakland School, member of The American Alliance for Theater and Education.
(Virtual Presentation, English)