We Survived the Holocaust: The Bluma and Felix Goldberg Story -- New Graphic Novel Review with Craft Ideas


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It is hard to believe there are people who do not believe the Holocaust actually happened. But there are. If we do not study history, we will repeat it and the Holocaust is not a part of history I care to ever have repeated. With this in mind, I am sharing today's book. It is We Survived the Holocaust: The Bluma and Felix Goldberg Story by Frank W. Baker with Tim E. Ogline and Esther Goldberg Greenberg, Karl Goldberg, and Henry Goldberg. It is a graphic novel, and it shares the stories of survival of Bluma and Felix Goldberg. They lived through the concentration camps and so much more of World War II. At the end I will share some crafts to go with this book.

From the Publisher:

During Adolf Hitler's rule over Nazi Germany there were over 40,000 concentration, labor and death camps built with the intent of erasing an entire population of Jews, Romani and 'other examples of impure races'. Bluma Tishgarten and Felix Goldberg were both young Polish Jews caught up in the Holocaust; Adolf Hitler's rise to power; the rise of anti-semitism and more. But yet they survived. Not only did Nazi Germany exterminate over 6 million Jews, they slaughtered anyone else who did not fit the ideal Aryan profile: Gypsies, Disabled, and slavic peoples (especially Poles and Russans. Other groups included in this final solution were communist, socialists, homosexuals, and Jehovah's witnesses. Bluma and Felix's miraculous story of survival, combined with the rise of nationalism and fascism, leading to the extermination of millions of human beings is also a cautionary tale-a dangerous history that, if we do not heed the warning signs, could very well be repeated.

From Me:

This book begins with a bit of a history lesson. It begins with what was happening in Germany after World War I. It shares how Adolf Hitler gained power and how the Nazis managed to make the Jewish people (as well as others) seem like lesser people and how they used propaganda to dehumanize them. Then it goes into a bit of the family background of both Bluma and Felix. It shares their stories from trying to escape to being separated from their families and being taken to the concentration camps. 

The book shares a small portion of the horrors that happened to Bluma and Felix as well as millions of other people who were tortured and some killed in the camps. It is important that our children and each of us truly know the horrors that occurred, so we do not repeat this history. This book tells the history. The graphic novel tells the story and helps the reader truly picture what was happening and gives them more of an idea of some of the horror. 

Craft Idea & Round-Up

At different times in the book the mezuzah is mentioned. It is mentioned in the beginning (Poland 1939) when the Goldberg family removed it from their door for safety. It is also mentioned at the end when the Goldberg family hung one on the door of their new home in America. To begin with the mezuzah, I suggest reading this post about the mezuzah. By reading it you will discover the mezuzah is a handwritten scroll that is kept in a box and hung to the right of the door. Although there are strict rules about the scroll there are not any about the box. The scroll has the first two sections of the Shema prayer. Many of the crafts I will share are about the box themselves, but I also found a few for the scroll. There is also information about a mezuzah here. I by no means am an expert or really know anything about them except what I have read online. 

The Scroll

You can find printable scrolls online. There is one here. There is a training one here. This one offers a tutorial to make your own as well as a tutorial to make the outer box. Kids Corner offers a printable paper craft with a scroll.

Now I started simple with a coloring page I found at Twinkl

The Box

The box that holds the scroll can be made out of many different materials. For kids you can make one out of paper like the one from Kids Corner. I found ones that use boxes like this one at Jewish Journal and this one from Growing in Grace. Kveller shares one using a matchbox as well as one using a recycled glue stick container. Of course, one that hangs on the outside of the house will need to be waterproof so these options (except the glue stick container) may not be the best for that use but are perfect for teaching kids about a mezuzah.

Jewish Moms and Crafters shared tutorials to make clay ones.  The ones pictured above are her Faux Brushed Metal Mezuzah that she recommends for adults. The one pictured below is the DIY Clay Mezuzah Craft for Kids also on Jewish Moms and Crafters.

I also found a tutorial for tin mezuzah on Kveller. It starts with a recycled mint or gum tin. Also a LEGO mezuzah over at Bible Belt Balabusta. There are even Pez mezuzah there as well.