Survivors of the Holocaust
Producer and Editor: Kath Shackleton
Contributors: Heinz Skyte, Trude Salman, Martin Kapel, Ruth Rogoff, Arek Hersh, Suzanne Ripton
Illustrations: Zane Whittingham
Design and Layout: Ryan Jones
Additional Artwork: Laura Tattersfield and Oana Nechifor
This is a fantastic graphic novel geared towards children. Depicting the heartbreaking and horrific experiences of six small children during the Holocaust, which, for younger readers who didn’t bother to pay attention in History class, was the Nazi’s systematic attempt at full extermination of the Jewish population from the globe. During this time, six million Jewish men, women and children were brutally or horrifically snatched up, captured, held in prison camps, tortured and executed. It is truly one of the darkest moments in the world’s history. There are people still alive today that lived through those years. People such as the contributors to the book. An experience like that doesn’t’ just stay with you, like when someone beats you up in the school yard or even the first time you see a dead body. An experience like that changes who you are, because it alters who you are to become as opposed to who you would have been.
The six stories told in this book by the survivors who themselves experienced first-hand the horrors of the lowest level of humanity, are not only true, they are a poignant point of view, as we often hear about the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II through the eyes and ears of adults. Here, we have the view of six children. Six separate children, who did not know each other but, have come together as adults with the bond of being survivors uniting them to tell their stories so that the generations to come may learn from the mistakes of the generations of the past.
Although this was geared towards children, I still wanted to read it solely based on the fact that it was about the real experiences of six kids during the Holocaust. Many children were separated from their parents and siblings, entire families were split up, never to see each other or know what happened to one another again. Interestingly, the basic way in which this book presents the information, not only in text but in image as well, accomplishes the goal of making one stop and think, “What would that have been like when I was that age?” which convinces me that a kid, with the way their minds are always working overdrive, will put themselves in the position of these six survivors.
I believe that this book would be greatly educational and humbling for any child, or adult, who hasn’t experienced such travesties to read. I certainly found it to be just that.