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Persecution

 

The six drawings in this section tell the story of the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany in a very clear way. As a whole class, you can tell the story of the persecution by making six still images. In groups of 5-6, each group takes one of the pictures and re-creates the feelings and relationships within it by making their own image. Don’t worry if they cannot put every character in the image. Every group will then show their image, and teachers will extend and deepen the work by adding a different convention on to the image.

1.

This happy scene, which probably represents the time before Adolf Hitler came to power, shows people in a park; children and older people. Who else might have been in the park enjoying life? Notice that all of the characters are in twos. Teachers bring each pair of characters to life, to show the rest of the class what is being said to each other. Are any if the pairs discussing Nazis?

2.

After this still image, teachers ask the group to create what they think the ‘Hitler Youth’ are saying to the three children. Then the three children say what they are thinking. Are they surprised, distressed or shocked? Are all of the Hitler Youth evil or are some of them doing it because they are afraid not to?

3.

This is a moment when a child is being told that she/he is no longer wanted at this school. It is interesting how the other children are rushing into school. Do they know what is happening to the child? Who is the portrait meant to represent at the entrance to the school? Teacher asks all of the characters to be questioned or ‘hot seated’ by the rest of the class to find out what all of these people are feeling.

4.

This drawing has lots of people in the background at the docks. They appear to be waiting for the two children to say goodbye to each other. Teachers can compare and contrast the two environments by bring each to life; cross cut from the two children to the crowd behind them. What are the children saying? What are all the rest of the kinder transport saying? Teachers can keep cutting back and forth for as long as it is useful.

5.

This drawing is very like Inge in ‘The Last Train’. It appears that she has been forgotten. Everybody else in the drawing have things to do. Teachers ask the class to make a circle around the figure of the girl and they adopt a collective role of a person from England who wants to help this child. The child finds it difficult, or impossible, to respond because she does not speak English.

6.

All of the children are being met by English people at the station. Imagine that the woman has only just met the two children for the first time. Notice the children trying to see what is going on. Teachers ask the group to mime the meeting and the events of the scene. Teachers can return to the images and see if there have been any changes of thought as a result of the drama.

 

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