Children and the Holocaust

As you probably know by now, our current temporary exhibit, Every Child Has a Name, is focused on the children of the Holocaust. Their games, drawings, and toys tell their story in a powerful way that make history come alive–especially to our younger visitors. As children tour the exhibit, they take in the idea that other children, often younger than themselves, lived and died during the Holocaust. While this moment may be difficult for some, it is a moment that we hope will allow the students to make a real connection with the Holocaust and the lessons of tolerance and understanding.

For those students who are interested in learning more about the Holocaust, there are many wonderful books available. Here is a brief selection of these books, selected for their quality and the power of the stories told within their pages.

The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers who Died in the Holocaust, Jacob Boas

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree, Laura Hillman

Number the Stars, Lois Lowry

Let us know if you have a favorite that isn’t listed, or if you have read and loved any of our picks.

Every Child Has a Name: Childhood Memory Project

Remember when you were a child? They toys you loved, the games you played? In our newest exhibit, Every Child Has a Name, we have a selection of children’s artifacts–toys, drawings, and other things that belonged to the children of the Holocaust. While some of the artifacts are reproductions of the originals, the reminder that children were there to witness the horrible acts of that time is very real.

This is a reproduction of a game similar to Monopoly--except for the fact that the setting is a Jewish ghetto.

As part of this exhibit, we are creating a virtual gallery on Facebook. If you or someone you know has any toys or children’s artifacts from the WWII period, especially from Europe, you can be part of this new venture. All you need to do is head over to our Facebook page ( and post a picture of the artifact, along with a brief history. We would love to know where the toy is from, who it belonged to, etc. This community-created project will give all of our supporters a chance to share their histories and to learn about the WWII era in a new way that is far more interesting ¬†and personal than what you could find in the pages of a book.

Please help us honor the memory of the children of the Holocaust, and the children of WWII, by sharing your photographs and memories if you can. If you do not have an artifact to share, you can still share a memory, story, or your thoughts!