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Recommended Books & Movies


Atlas of the Holocaust

Atlas of the Holocaust features 316 black-and-white maps showing “in chronological sequence, the destruction of each of the main Jewish communities of Europe, as well as acts of resistance and revolt, avenues of escape and rescue, and the fate of individuals.” Written by a preeminent historian (Gilbert has written several books on the Holocaust and is the official biographer of Churchill), the atlas presents a chilling portrait–using primarily maps rather than pictures — of one nation’s attempt to wipe out an entire people.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Terezin Concentration Camp held, between 1942 and 1944, fifteen thousand children under the age of fifteen years old, for various lengths of time, before the children were carted out to other camps to die. A few teachers came in with sparse quantities of art supplies, and they used art “lessons” as a way of offering art therapy. “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” is a representation of those surviving pictures, which are now housed at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, USA. Illustrating the pictures, as it were, are collections of poetry and prose, and excerpts from a few journals.


Paper Clips

It’s a must have documentary for all ages. Paper Clips was nominated as one of the Top Five Documentaries of 2004 from The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures! When the students of Tennessee ‘s Whitwell Middle School began studying the Holocaust as a way to learn about intolerance and diversity, nobody could have predicted the results. In 2001, the Paper Clip Project culminated in a unique memorial that changed the lives of those who created it, as well as touching Holocaust survivors and countless communities. Because Norwegians invented the paper clip and used it as a symbol of solidarity against the Nazis, students started collecting them to help visualize such vast numbers of victims. As word spread online and in the media, paper clips poured in from around the world, 11 million of which are enshrined in an authentic German railcar standing in the schoolyard.

Freedom Writers

Shocked by the teenage violence she witnessed during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Erin Gruwell became a teacher at a high school rampant with hostility and racial intolerance. For many of these students–whose ranks included substance abusers, gang members, the homeless, and victims of abuse–Gruwell was the first person to treat them with dignity, to believe in their potential and help them see it themselves. Soon, their loyalty towards their teacher and burning enthusiasm to help end violence and intolerance became a force of its own. Inspired by reading The Diary of Anne Frank and meeting Zlata Filipovic (the eleven-year old girl who wrote of her life in Sarajevo during the civil war), the students began a joint diary of their inner-city upbringings. Told through anonymous entries to protect their identities and allow for complete candor, The Freedom Writers Diary is filled with astounding vignettes from 150 students who, like civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders, heard society tell them where to go–and refused to listen.