•  If you were a Jew in Germany in 1933 when Hitler came to power, how would you have reacted?
  •  What was life like for the Jews who remained in Germany during the period before World War II?
  •  Why did many Jews who were able to leave remain in Germany until it was too late?

The Holocaust Letters program is an interactive online session that explores the life of a young, Jewish, German refugee to provide a different, personal perspective on the Holocaust.

Just over decade ago, Daniel and Ricci Schwab discovered a trunk in their garage in South Africa that contained 2500 letters between their grandfather Rudi, who fled Germany in 1933 at the age of 17, and friends and family who had remained behind.

In this fascinating and unique session, students analyze Rudi’s letters to unlock a very personal experience of the Holocaust. They encounter Rudi’s angst in his frustrated attempts to save his family, and the psychological forces that led Rudi’s parents from a sense of normalcy, to fear, and finally to resignation. In examining excerpts from the letters, students also draw lessons for contemporary times and, through the medium of social media, apply their insights to present-day manifestations of anti-Semitism, racism, and brutality.

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