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27 January 2018

International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Croatia 

“More than 75 years after the young Czech poet Pavel Friedmann famously penned a farewell poem to "the very last" butterfly at the Terezin Concentration Camp, the children of the world have answered Friedmann with the largest migration of butterflies ever seen.” The students of II. osnovna škola Čakovec with teachers Dunja Mikulaj and Monika Vrtarić Vuk marked The Holocaust Remembrance Day by creating an art installation of butterflies. Later, at a special presentation, they also recited the poem The Butterfly.

Our 8th graders learnt about the Holocaust within history lessons: with their teacher Snježana Odak Hrkač they had a workshop where they were split into four groups. They had an assignment to do research about four young people, victims of the Holocaust: Anne Frank, Petr Ginz, Lea Deutsch and Avraham Koplowitz.

They thought about how they might have felt and wrote monologues – what would have they said if they had been able to talk to us? After the workshop, four pupils of grade 8 presented themselves as Anne, Lea, Petr and Avraham and shared their thoughts at a special presentation with other students, their teachers and the headmaster, who all gathered to pay tribute to all innocent victims of war.

They also listened to the song Dona, Dona by Rachel Hyman, and watched the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz. Everything we heard was deeply emotional. We wanted our students not only to learn about the facts but also to emphatize and try to see through those people’s eyes. 

The Holocaust Remembrance Day: our 8th graders watching the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz with their history teacher Snjezana Odak Hrkac.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

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The Last Flight of Petr Ginz - film reviews by Croatian students

International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Italy

Crocus Project

The Irish Holocaust Education Foundation (HETI) has provided us with crocus yellow bulbs to plant in memory of the one and a half million children who died in the Holocaust and thousands of other children who were victims of Nazi atrocities. The yellow flower recalls the yellow of the Star of David that the Jews were forced to sew on their clothes during the Nazi rule. The crocuses have flowered around the date of the Day of Memory. These beautiful flowers also remind us that after the most terrible events, a new life begins and we can hope that everything is better than it was before. The flowers remind us that in the world there is still beauty and hope for our future.

The class actively participated in the project, doing a search among hundreds of thousands of children who were killed by the Nazis, each student dedicated a flower to one of those children. On Memorial Day they remembered and prayed because the most effective weapon against every kind of madness and evil is memory.

The pupils of the kindergarten and primary school inspired by the poem "the last butterfly" of Pavel have colored the courtyard of many butterflies, they have recited the poem, read some passages on the holocaust, they danced Jewish dances.