Holocaust Remembrance Day in Croatia

  • During the last week of January we marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Students of years 3, 7 and 8 took part in different activities within classes of History, Art and English. Students of year 3 drew a picture book, to commemorate a boy Tomáš Fritta and his family. BedÅ™ich Fritta was a technical draughtsman, graphic designer, and cartoonist, who lived in Prague. In December 1941, Fritta was deported to a concentration camp, where he drew a picture book, dedicated to this son, Tomáš, for his third birthday. His intention was to show his son a normal life, outside the concentration camp. Our students of year 3 learnt about the life of the little boy and decided to draw a picture book themselves, and dedicate it to Tomáš. They named the picture book Life is Beautiful. Within History lessons students of year 8 learnt about the notions of holocaust, genocide, crimes against humanity, victim, executor, passive observer, saver – Righteous Among the Nations. Students were split into groups, in which they did a research on racial laws, ghettos and concentration camps. Each group presented the results of their work using posters. Within Art lessons students of years 7 and 8 drew a comic, based on a chapter of a novel Sadako Wants to Live by Karl Bruckner, about a Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki who lived in Hiroshima and died of illnesses caused by radiation exposure following the atomic bombing of the city in August 1945. The best drawings were exhibited in the school hall. Within English Lessons students of year 8 read a biography of Lea Deutsch, a child actress, who used to be called Croatian Shirley Temple. Unfortunately, her career, as well as her life, were ended on the way to Auschwitz. The second activity did within English classes was reading a story about a Dutch girl, faced with a dilemma whether to help her Jewish friend and risk her life or not. The school also joined the international Crocus Project. Students of year 8, accompanied by their History teacher, planted crocus bulbs in the shape of David's star. We managed to have our students empathize with innocent victims of war and develop their social and civic competence.