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Jewish Life in Germany: the Erna Goldmann Story

Jewish life was part of Germany and German culture in the 19th and beginning 20th century, but disappeared with the Nazi-Regime in 1933. Using the Erna Goldmann film, From Frankfurt to Tel Aviv, this lesson teaches students about the history of Jews in Germany, Jewish religious life, Zionism, and antisemitism with the goal of conveying the idea that students learn that Jewish life should be a part of Germany. In addition, this lesson explores the concept of "home" and "homeland."

Asta Pekker’s grandfather, my mother's father, Pyotr Borisovich Shwartzman

My grandfather, my mother's father, Pyotr Borisovich Shwartzman. The picture was taken in Berlin, 1931.

I am Asta Grigorievna Pekker. I'm 72 years old. I was born in Berlin, in June 1929. I lived there for four and a half years. My parents and my grandfather and grandmother were Soviet citizens. With Hitler coming in 1933 the Soviet government called our family to Moscow at the end of the year.

My grandfather quit quietly all his official positions, and he lived and worked as if in a shadow until very old age.

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Looking back: A child’s recollections of the Holocaust through the eyes of the children of today

In this cross-cultural project, three Jewish school teachers assigned their students to read the same text using slightly different assignments. Students in all classes produced art in response to the text and sent the art to Thessaloniki, where their work was displayed in the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki. This project can be done with any text or Centropa story.

My brother Karl

This is a picture or my oldest brother Karl. He was born on January 12, 1906, and was twelve years older than me.

In 1933, he had finished his studies and he had even completed an internship at the Virchow-Hospital in Berlin.

He was a general practitioner, but later he only did scientific research.

My brother Karl was a fervent Zionist. After his internship, Karl left Germany and went to Palestine. My parents were ok with it, they were very modern. It wasn’t easy back then:

My home in Frankfurt

This is a picture of me sitting on the balcony of our apartment at Eschenheimer Anlage 30 in Frankfurt.

I returned home from school at 1pm. Then our maid served lunch, and we all ate together.

After lunch, my mother used to take a nap, or would sit next to me and help me with my homework.

In the afternoon I went down to the street to play with my friends. Sometimes we played hopscotch [Hickelkreis].

We would draw different forms onto the street and hop on one leg from one box to the next.


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