The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

Summary: Nonna Bannister is a Russian refugee who is impacted by the Holocaust in many ways. She is sent to the labor camps to work and in the process loses most of her family members to horrible deaths caused by the German Nazis. While in the labor camp, she loses the one family member she has left her mother, after she is sent to a concentration camp for helping a Jewish woman and is killed only a few days before the Americans free the Jews.

Review: This is a really touching story, that brings to light a different side of the Holocaust. It illustrates the way others in Europe were treated that were not Jewish but how their fates could intertwine and they lived under the same fear. The story is taken from Nonna’s real life journals and is a bit difficult to understand and follow at times. She does jump around quite a bit with a large part of the middle of the story being about life before the war. I would recommend this story to everyone!

 

Activities:

This isn’t a children’s book despite that the Holocaust is something very real that I believe we need to teach children about so I have found a great resource for anyone teaching upon this subject. This unit was written by the Education Department of the College of Florida. It has wonderful activities for the youngest of children to the oldest. Each activity is also broken down into elementary, middle, and high school groupings so that you may simply click through your age group and determine the activities that you would like to use.

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