Friday, September 11, 2015

Education of Jewish Children in Nazi Occupied Areas Between 1933–1945

Jacqueline Silver, School of Educational Leadership for Change

This inquiry looks at the efforts to educate Jewish children who lived under Nazi occupation in Europe and North Africa between 1933 and 1945. My research question asks what are the important factors that relate to understanding the improvised, and generally clandestine, education of Jewish children during the Shoah in German occupied areas between 1933 and 1945. My goal has been to offer answers to the questions who, what, where, how, and why Jewish children received education. The information has been retrieved from multiple sources in order to gain a comprehensive understanding not only of how Jewish children were educated but also the effects of this education on them emotionally, physiologically, socially, and morally.

Children, who lived in Germany during the rise of National Socialism and later in German ghettos and concentration camps, in orphanages, forests, or hidden in Christian homes, convents and monasteries, dealt with constant fear, trauma, hunger, and other terrible conditions. This work shows that despite severe restrictions there often were adults who took responsibility for providing children with “schooling” that gave them a semblance of normality and contributed to their lives in other ways. The conditions under which children lived during this period, the treatment they received from the adults with them, and their activities often determined, to a great extent, their survival and even conditions of their later lives.

Data for this study has been retrieved from several sources in order to corroborate historical information. It has come from biographies and memoirs, articles, documentary films, archived videotaped interviews of survivors as well as interviews conducted by the author.

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