Teaching children to respect their neighbors regardless of their race, religion or nationality is a daunting task, especially if you live in a small town where everyone is the same. Middle school teachers in rural Whitwell, Tennessee were determined to give it a try. Six Million Paper Clips is a fascinating children’s book that shows just how Whitwell Middle School rose to the challenge. They tackled the problem by incorporating a class about the Holocaust into their school’s curriculum. The new course was successful from its inception. However, one of the biggest hurdles faced by the instructor was how to explain what it really meant to murder six million Jews. The children couldn’t begin to comprehend the loss of such an incredible number of innocent people. Their solution was to use paperclips as a symbol of each individual life lost during the Holocaust. German authors, Peter W. Schroeder & Dagmar Schroeder-Hilderbrand, document how the students of Whitwell Middle School collected over six million paper clips and eventually created their own Holocaust museum in the heart of a Protestant, Southern community. The authors not only personally contributed to the creation of the Holocaust Memorial they also helped to generate worldwide attention to this remarkable project.
Six Million Paper Clips is clearly written and easy to understand. It includes numerous photographs, which beautifully record the making of the Children’s Holocaust Museum from inception to completion. The publishers of this book consider it suitable for children between the ages of 9 and 12. It is a valuable instructional tool for any parent or teacher desiring to introduce the subject of the Holocaust to young people.
In addition to the book, www.amazon.com has two DVDs available entitled Paper Clips . The special disc edition is a fascinating documentary recommended for children and adults. It covers the same subject matter as Six Million Paper Clips but in a more detailed manner. The second DVD is a teacher’s guide, which includes lesson plans for Middle and High School students. Thanks to Peter W. Schroeder & Dagmar Schroeder-Hilderbrand, teaching students the importance of tolerance and diversity has never been easier.