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Seventeen years ago, Sondra Perl journeyed into alien territory: Austria, Hitler’s birthplace, and the territory of her own hatred. In this book, she describes what happened when she found herself teaching Austrians whose parents had been Nazis. Her students preferred to bury their parents’ shameful past, but under Perl’s guidance and encouragement, they began to examine how their silences masked their own moral stances. Perl also explored how as a young Jewish girl, she was taught to cast all Germans and Austrians as her enemies. Writing together, Perl and these teachers discovered the power of dialogue to release them from the sway of lifelong prejudices.

Sondra Perl states: “There is no teacher’s guide for this journey: the road to understanding is rocky and full of pitfalls. But in times of war when dialogue seems impossible and children are being taught to hate their neighbors, there is no more pressing need than to discover what it takes to see beyond our own narrow frames of reference.”

Download Chapter 1: A Simple Invitation

Download Chapter 2: History Becomes Real

Featured

Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz

By Olga Lengyel

Olga Lengyel was one of the first Holocaust survivors to publish an account of the Nazi death camps, describing with unflinching honesty and precision her experiences in Auschwitz and Birkenau. From the Midwest Book Review:  “Having lost her husband, her parents, and her two young sons to the Nazi exterminators, Olga Lengyel had little to […continue]

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Good Neighbors, Bad Times

By Mimi Schwartz

HEN Director Sondra Perl has known Mimi Schwartz for many years. They share interests in the teaching of writing, recently collaborating on the textbook ­Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction. They also share interests in teaching and learning about the Holocaust. Mimi’s memoir about the German village where her father grew up, […continue]

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On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate

By Sondra Perl

Fifteen years ago, Sondra Perl journeyed into alien territory: Austria, Hitler’s birthplace, and the territory of her own hatred. In this book, she describes what happened when she found herself teaching Austrians whose parents had been Nazis. Her students preferred to bury their parents’ shameful past, but under Perl’s guidance and encouragement, they began to […continue]

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Unfinalized Moments: Essays in the Development of Contemporary Jewish American Narrative

By Derek Parker Royal

Jennifer Lemberg, Assistant Director for HEN, is proud to be included among the authors in Unfinalized Moments: Essays in the Development of Contemporary Jewish American Narrative, a collection focusing on the newest generation of Jewish American writers, those who published their first books in 1988 or later. As editor Derek Parker Royal writes in the […continue]

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Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

By Doreen Rappaport

The Library is pleased to share news of the release of Doreen Rappaport’s volume Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, published by Candlewick Press. Rappaport is a prolific author whose notable publications include Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr., which received many awards and was counted […continue]

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A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers: Lessons and Resources from the U.N. Rights of the Child

By JoBeth Allen and Lois Alexander

Paige Cole, summer seminar participant and leader of the Georgia Satellite Seminar, has a chapter included in the newly-released volume A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers: Lessons and Resources from the U.N. Rights of the Child, edited by JoBeth Allen and Lois Alexander and published simultaneously by the Teachers College Press and the National […continue]

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The Poverty and Education Reader: A Call for Equity in Many Voices

By edited by Paul C. Gorski and Julie Landsman

Wendy Warren, participant in the Memorial Library 2009 Summer Seminar, contributed a chapter to The Poverty and Education Reader: A Call for Equity in Many Voices, edited by Paul C. Gorski and Julie Landsman, published by Stylus Publishing in October, 2013.   The volume is described by the publisher as “a rich mix of essays, […continue]

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Contact

For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact info@toli.us

The Memorial Library is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)