Voices of the Holocaust

Banner image: © Olivia Hemingway

Caroline wrote the oral history resource Voices of the Holocaust for The British Library. This set of web pages consists of 28 oral history testimonies in the British Library sound archive, gathered from Jewish men and women who came to live in Britain during or after World War II. These testimonies are personal, individual, true stories that describe the hardships of life during Hitler’s leadership. The project is aimed at Year 9 GCSE pupils who have already made an initial study of the Holocaust. In addition to the testimonies themselves there is extensive background information. There are also student worksheets and teachers’ notes on ways to approach this sensitive topic.

On 27 March 1944, the Nazis mounted a Children’s Aktion, entering the ghetto when parents were at work and taking about 2,000 of the children and elderly to be killed.

See Through the Lens

The Yellow Star

The Jews in Poland were forced to wear the Yellow Star from 1939. Wearing the star was not something new as Jews had often been made to wear badges to identify themselves since medieval times. Jews in other countries were forced to wear the star once they were occupied. There were many types of stars or identification badges. For example in Vilna, Lithuania, Jews were made to wear a yellow circle with a letter inside it. The stars were often printed on coarse yellow cloth and were a garish yellow colour. The Star of David was outlined in thick, black lines and the word ‘Jew’ was printed in mock-Hebraic type. In the Warsaw ghetto, Jews wore a white armband with a blue Star of David on their left arm. In some ghettos, even babies in prams had to wear the armbands or stars. Shops were also marked with a Yellow Star if the owners were Jewish.The star was intended to humiliate Jews and mark them out for segregation and discrimination. It made it easier to identify them for deportation to camps.