Museum In Brooklyn Shares Stories Of Children Who Survived The Holocaust

Holocaust Education Center Off 37

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork— Friday marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

While it’s a somber observance, there’s a museum in Brooklyn that’s focusing on the children who survived. As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, the hope is that the exhibit will teach today’s children not to forget.

“This is a shoe of life. It represents a child who was able to escape the Nazis,” a staffer explained.

The tiny shoe is one of the artifacts at the Amud Aish Memorial Museum and Kleinman Holocaust Education Center in Mill Basin.

Out of the six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, more than one million were children. The exhibit focuses on those who went into hiding and survived. There are pictures of the children who escaped, many of them given to non-Jewish families.

“Usually when you go to a Holocaust Museum, you see so much sadness. This is bringing the positive side of it. These children survived,” Tamar Vandervelde, of Yeshiva of Brooklyn, said.

Students visiting the museum get the change to read letters from parents to the foster families willing to take their children into hiding.

Mashi Lax, a ninth grader, said seeing the Holocaust through the eyes of children put life into perspective.

“I just feel like it’s important to know about this, because girls my age were going through so much and I feel like now I shouldn’t take life for granted,” she said.

“Children connect. You kind of see that light bulb go off in their eyes,” the museum’s director of education, Julie Golding, said. “Whether it’s the shoe, which represents a child’s flight from the Nazis, or a doll who a child held for security, or perhaps a wallet, which represents a 12-year-old boy forced to grow up before his time.”

The story of those children will now be passed on by these children.

“Who knows, in 200 years, I hope everyone still remembers that this happened. There won’t be any survivors or anything, so we have to make sure that everyone remembers it,” Lax said.

The museum is currently at a temporary site but a permanent location will open in Boro Park by the end of the year.

About the author / 

Rabbi Sholom Friedmann

Rabbi Sholom Friedmann is a Talmid of Rabbi Leib Bakst זצ"ל, of Yeshivas Ateres Mordechai, Detroit, Michigan. After learning in the yeshivah and kollel, Rabbi Friedmann moved to the British colony of Gibraltar and studied in the Gateshead Kollel for three more years, at which time he received rabbinical ordination. From there, Rabbi Friedmann moved to London, England. In London, Rabbi Friedmann taught in the Menorah Grammar School, and was appointed the communal Rov of Kehilas Kol Yaakov, Edgware, London. Rabbi Friedmann was awarded Qualified Teaching Status by the British Board of Education in 2002, and a diploma in educational psychology by the Tavistock clinic (London) in 2006. In 2005, Rabbi Friedmann was accepted as a Fellow in Holocaust Education by the prestigious Imperial War Museum, London. Rabbi Friedmann relocated to New York in 2008 to become the Director of Zechor Yemos Olam, the Holocaust education division of Torah Umesorah. While occupying that position, Rabbi Friedmann created teaching materials, videos, and teacher training programs, including the ZYO Holocaust education fellowship program. In April 2012, Rabbi Friedmann was appointed as the director of the Amud Aish Memorial Museum. The museum founded by Elly Kleinman will carry on the legacy of holocaust history. For more info about when it is expected to open read this article.

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