My Copy: 9780316074841 (image from ushmm.org)
Tell Them We Remember is a concise overview of the Holocaust. As someone who has done research on the Holocaust ever since reading about Anne Frank (going on over 20 years now), I think this book is a fantastic introduction to the subject matter for younger readers, say middle school age and above.
It’s not that there are so many graphic photos as in other books, but more the reading level. Elementary kiddos might have a tough time with it.
This book I picked up at one of the Holocaust museums as a teaching resource back when I was trying to get into the classroom. I had used small portions of it for clarification, and wished I could assign it as reading. So many things we learn about the Holocaust focuses on the methods of death and the statistics. Few are aware of the awful steps that led to the Final Solution, steps that increased with their destructive potential until death became the end game.
Tell Them We Remember is like an introduction, also, in to walking into a Holocaust museum for the first time. Many have a similar layout of information, but vary widely in images and artifacts used to tell the stories. I live near Houston, so I’ve been to that one several times. This book is not a substitute for actually going by a long stretch, but if you want to educate someone about the Holocaust–and they can handle this book–then you have a good incentive to further the education and visit a museum.
The book is well-organized, beginning with “Jewish life in Europe before the Holocaust” and ending at “Remembering the Children.” There is quite a bit on the children lost in the Holocaust, and there are children with brief biographies scattered throughout in the margins. You can learn more about them at the appropriate chapters, and some students find it interesting to learn what happened….especially since a huge proportion of the victims were children.
I would love to use this resource more in the classroom because when I found the Holocaust and WW2 in my World History textbook as a teen, the Holocaust was basically a sub-chapter or sidebar, and when WW2 ends, any mention of the war and the Jews and other displaced persons ends.
But that was just the middle of the story for many. Our cultural myopia went on to focus on the Cold War rather than displaced persons, and our textbooks reflected that.
Tell Them We Remember is a book I would recommend to anyone who needs or wants a guide to educate a young person, a younger sibling, sons or daughters, young cousins, students about this awful event born of hate and prejudice. Maybe the more we educate about how such horrible things can happen, the more we can stop it, because every day we see that the refrain of “Never Again” has not yet become reality.