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Fireflies in the Dark: The Story of Friedl…

Fireflies in the Dark: The Story of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the…

by Susan Goldman Rubin

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The tale of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the children with whom she worked in the Terezin concentration camp is at once hopeful and haunting. The reader will not find a happy story here, but, rather, they will find the story of a brave woman who did her best to brighten the worlds of children subjected to inhuman and heinous conditions and a collection of historical pictures and the artwork the children created. The narrative about this heroic teacher of the arts is framed by images drawn by children who were terrified of what life had become, and who just missed their home and normalcy. Children’s drawing of home or family are interspersed with chilling poems, written by other young children, about the weak dying off or about the terror they faced daily at the prospect of being transported to a death camp. The well-researched work states that only 100 of the 15,000 children who went through Terezin survived the war. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis also died in a death camp. This is an important book. Much like the tale of Breendonk, which I reviewed earlier this year, it puts human faces and agency to the masses of people who were killed during this dark period of history. I would gladly include this book in my high school social studies classes, and it would have a place in any class which discussed World War 2. ( )
  jrnewman | May 4, 2015 |
This a beautiful, yet heart breaking story. Although this is a story of hope, and the bright spot in the darkness, it still breaks my heart to think of the lives lost in the holocaust, and the children that had to face such a hard reality. With that being said, this story was truly beautiful. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis brought art supplies for all of the children in the ghetto so that they would create art instead of fearing their reality. She provided a sense of escape and brightness. This story should definitely be shared in the classroom to communicate that you can make efforts to make the best out of any situation. This book would be perfect to use in a place like New Orleans who still feels the affects of Hurricane Katrina. Our storm is in no way comparable to a multi-nation genocide, but it was still a very dark moment that affected the lives of many and left them devastated. In a New Orleans classroom, you could have students write about efforts that they could've made in light of Katrina to be the bright spot in the dark. ( )
  kitbraddick | Apr 30, 2015 |
An amazing story of yet another hero amidst the Holocaust, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. I was so inspired by her efforts to provide the children in Terezin with as positive as an experience as could be expected, and I enjoyed learning about her independent personality and flare for artistic style as presented in this book. The artwork and photographs from the plays included in the book also make it an invaluable collection of primary resources for any Holocaust unit. ( )
  jcarroll12 | Jul 28, 2014 |
If you enjoyed Hana's Suitcase, you will love this book. It puts a face to the brave adults who chose to not give up, no matter the circumstances, and continue to provide children with a hopeful future. The story of Friedl is so inspiring. I wondered if Friedl was one of Hana's teachers in Terezin. It's a wonderful read and I would definitely recommend it. ( )
  Kbernard | Jul 1, 2014 |
7 - 12 years of age. Biography of a selfless artist sent to a concentration camp with children in Terezin, Czechoslovakia in 1942. She packed her bags with art supplies and paper to have something to share with the children to take their minds off of where they were.Copies of original artwork is scattered throughout the book. This is a very powerful book that has 8 chapters. It should be read carefully with time to ponder what is happening. ( )
  1derlys | Apr 13, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 082341681X, Paperback)

Bauhaus trained, she taught art to children in a concentration camp.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:03 -0400)

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Covers the years during which Friedl Dicker, a Jewish woman from Czechoslovakia, taught art to children at the Terezin Concentration Camp. Includes art created by teacher and students, excerpts from diaries, and interviews with camp survivors.

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