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"We didn't miss a day" : a history in narratives of schooling efforts for Jewish children and youths in German-occupied Europe / Lisa Anne Plante.

Publication | Library Call Number: LC3584 .P54 2000

This is a study of adult and youth narratives about creating and participating in schooling during what has become known as the Holocaust. Jewish narrators created works that described and analyzed their experiences and educational efforts while in hiding, in ghettos, and in concentration camps. The narratives are in the form of diaries, journals, autobiographies, testimonies, and interviews. The narratives were analyzed in order to discover personal and shared themes and are interpreted and presented in ways meant to retain their particular natures and styles. Short pieces from other sources are included to enhance understanding of the roles of education and schooling in the experiences of Jews trapped in the “Final Solution”. Narrators are introduced through short biographies. Each narrative is offered in segments interlaced with discussion of the contexts and interpretations that enhance understanding of the narrators and their schooling efforts. Following the narratives are discussions of individual and shared themes and of views critical of schooling efforts on behalf of Jewish children-Relationships between social, political, cultural and ideological positions and schooling form a subtext of the analysis of the narratives. Educational efforts, often under fearsome bans on education for Jewish children, ranged from the autodidactic efforts of isolated children to complex, yet often clandestine, school systems. Schooling was an opportunity for resistance to German plans to destroy Judaism—when intellectual resistance was often the only possibility to fight back. Schooling connected youths and adults to each other and to their pasts, while creating possibilities for a future that many did not live to experience. It sent survivors into that future with a sense of having prepared for a new life. Many emerged from hiding places and sites of imprisonment and torture with little else. Their families and communities destroyed, their material resources stolen, no longer welcome in their own lands—only the intellectual growth and the sense of camaraderie, fostered in the educational enterprise, accompanied them into an often hostile and strange post-war world.

Plante, Lisa Anne.
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
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