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World War II and the Holocaust Resources

Books and websites that cover everything from Pearl Harbor to Anne Frank

Grades

3–5, 6–8, 9–12

What was life really like hiding from the Nazis as a young Jewish girl in Europe? How severe was the devastation caused in Hiroshima? And how did the war change America at home during this tumultuous time? These resources will help bring to life the inspiring and sobering stories of World War II for your students. 

 

Books for Older Grades

Anne Frank: Behind the Diary A Photographic Remembrance by Ruud Van Der and Rian Verhoeven
Packed with photos and detailed maps, this extraordinary book is an important addition to classroom libraries and a must for all readers of Anne Frank's diary, providing a complete documentation of her childhood and the historic events that sent her family into hiding.

Daniel's Story by Carol Matas
Based on the exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, this novel features a character named Daniel, who embodies the experience of millions of children and their families during the Holocaust.

My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York, 1941 by Mary Pope Osborne
Madeline Beck has a lot to worry about. She's the new kid at school and her father has been suddenly sent to war. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Madeline struggles with adjusting to adolescent life as she worries if she'll ever see her father again. This journal personalizes history by showing your daughter that the concerns of young women haven't changed much through time.

One Eye Laughing, The Other Weeping: The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York by Barry Denenberg
Julie Weiss's emotional journal speaks of a life of extremes -- as a privileged Viennese child, a Holocaust refugee, and finally a Broadway actress. Finding joy on the stage, Julie dreams at night of her homeland's horrors and the family she'll never see again. The record of her triumph and heartbreak shows the resiliency of the human spirit and its ability to heal.

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
A daring adventure based on a true story about a group of Norwegian children who smuggled nine million dollars in gold past Nazi sentries during World War II. "A story of courage and wits and grim determination." - New York Times

The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp, California, 1942 by Barry Denenberg
When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Ben Uchida is stripped of his identity, assigned a number, and herded into an internment camp for years. Ben's journal encourages tolerance and shows how family, friends, and even baseball can help the human spirit endure a dark period in American history.

The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins: A World War II Soldier, Normandy, France, 1944 by Walter Dean Myers
Seventeen-year-old Scott Pendleton Collins expects each day to be his last. His moving journal from the battlefield of Normandy immerses the sights, sounds, and smells of war -- where a young man almost forgets what he's fighting for. Penned by a Newbery Award-winning author, this book depicts a boy coming-of-age in one of the world's most tumultuous times.

Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States at War by June A. English and Thomas D. Jones
A complete, full-color chronicle from the American Revolution through the Gulf War, with timelines, maps, eyewitness accounts, and more.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Ten-year-old Annemarie and her best friend Ellen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943, and their life is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews are "relocated," Ellen moves in with Annemarie's family and pretends to be one of them, yet her life is still in danger.

Early Sunday Morning by Barry Denenberg
Amber's journal chronicles two months that change her life forever. In late 1941 her family moves to Hawaii, landing in the epicenter of the attack that plunged the United States into World War II. As she watches her world literally explode in flames, Amber demonstrates that in the face of tragedy, kids can find the courage to help and to simply go on.

 

A Book for Educators

Teaching the Diary of Anne Frank: An In-Depth Resource for Learning About the Holocaust Through the Writings of Anne Frank Susan Moger
This sensitively written, scrupulously researched resource provides the background information and materials you need to teach The Diary of Anne Frank, and place it in the context of the Holocaust. Filled with discussion questions, ideas for journal writing, documents, timelines, poetry , photos, and more, this important book will help you help your students come to understand Anne Frank and the tragedy of the Holocaust.

 

Helpful Websites

Hiroshima

Panoramic Photos of Ground Zero of the Hiroshima Bombing
Students can view photos illustrating the devastating effects on Hiroshima of the atomic bomb blast.  

Remembering Nagasaki
This site contains photos and eyewitness transcripts. 

Holocaust

Anne Frank Online
This definitive site focuses on Anne Frank and her world-famous diary. It contains excerpts from her diary, a photo scrapbook of her life, and information about a traveling museum exhibit about her.

An Auschwitz Alphabet
This site provides information about the experience of prisoners at Auschwitz organized alphabetically with topics ranging from Arbeit Macht Frei (Work will make you free) to Zyklon B (poison gas). It includes commentary by the author, a bibliography, and links to other Holocaust sites. 

Cybrary of the Holocaust
Included at this site are images of the Holocaust, survivor accounts, stories of children of survivors, artwork, and other Holocaust-related materials, including a section refuting claims that the Holocaust never happened. CAUTION: Some of the material is too graphic in nature for younger students.

The Holocaust Ring
This continually growing site is made up of a list of links contributed by people around the world. Its goal is to contribute to Holocaust understanding, study, research, and dynamics.

Louisiana Holocaust Survivors
Six Holocaust survivors from Poland are interviewed about their lives before World War II, the changes they experienced as the war neared, and their memories of the Holocaust. 

The Nizkor Project
The Nizkor Project takes issue with those who deny the Holocaust ever happened. This site is divided into several sections, such as FAQs, features, Shofar Web Project, and The Holocaust Web Project. They contain documentation as to the reality of the Holocaust and refute the position of the deniers, whose arguments are also shown through Web links. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center
This site provides extensive materials dealing with the Nazi Holocaust as well as current human rights issues. Areas include a biography of Simon Wiesenthal, more than 50 bibliographies of Holocaust resources, audio events, Museum of Tolerance, and biographies of children killed in the Holocaust.

Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation
This site explains the mission of the Survivors of the Shoah (Hebrew for "Holocaust") Visual History Foundation, which is to videotape and archive the accounts of as many surviving Holocaust victims as possible to provide a record for the future of this shameful chapter of history.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This museum is the United State's national institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history and serves as this country's memorial to the millions who were murdered. Photos, text, and other resources provide a full exploration of the Holocaust.

Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial of the Jewish people in Israel, offers background text, sample testimonies, and pictures pertaining to the events that befell the Jewish population and others in Europe beginning in the 1930s. This site is also available in Hebrew.

WWII: The Home Front

Camp Harmony
This exhibit tells the story of Seattle's Japanese-American community in the spring and summer of 1942 and their four-month sojourn at the Puyallup Assembly Center, known as "Camp Harmony."

Morse Code
Translate words and phrases into Morse code.

Rosie the Riveter
The Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park is the first national monument to celebrate and interpret women's crucial contributions to the World War II Home Front. The memorial is located at the largest and most productive shipyards of World War II, the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, California. The Rosie the Riveter Trust sponsors this site.

What Did You Do In the War, Grandma?
An oral history of Rhode Island women during World War II, written by students in the Honors English Program at South Kingstown High School. 

My Scholastic

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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