Pat Black-Gould

Award-Winning Author

Ken Burns' Look at the Holocaust... and America's Involvement

Sep 18, 2022 by Pat Black-Gould

I'll be returning to Whitwell Middle School this week to read my children's book, The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey, to the students. The book also contains the story of Whitwell's Paper Clips Project

Whitwell's Paper Clips ProjectI first heard about Whitwell when I was doing research for The Crystal Beads. Whitwell students were learning about the Holocaust and honored the victims by collecting six million paper clips — one paper clip for each Jewish life lost during that time. When they reached this goal, they collected five million more clip to represent all other victims who perished.

These clips are stored on the school grounds in a railcar shipped from Germany. This is one of the few remaining railcars that transported Jews to concentration camps.

To date, the students have collected over thirty-three million paper clips, from Holocaust survivors, their families, and people from all over the world. Some of these clips have been sent to other schools so students can create their own paper clip projects.

Be sure to keep updated on the latest events. Visit the media page here.

Ken Burns Film Premieres Tonight

The U.S. and the Holocaust is a film that explores America's response to the Holocaust. This three-part, six-hour series is directed and produced byKen Burns' Film on the U.S. and the Holocaust Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein. The series airs on September 18, 19, and 20, at 8-10 p.m. ET on PBS stations.

In addition to the airing of this film, PBS is providing lesson plans for educators that address clips from the series. These materials will be available on September 18th on the "Ken Burns in the Classroom" hub on Learning Media's website on PBS.

I had the opportunity to participate in a virtual preview of the film on September 13th. This was followed by a panel discussion with the film's directors. They discussed how best to utilize the documentary in the classroom. It was wonderful to see so many educators take part in this program.
If you miss this event, others are scheduled for October and February, 2023. 

And if you haven't had the opportunity to pick up your copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey, please do so today.