Authenticity in Holocaust literature for children

M. P. Maehet


Many children's novels have been written about the Holocaust to try and make this period accessible and meaningful to children. Novels can help children become aware of the Holocaust by conveying some of the complexity of the historical situation and also by personifying the events through fictional characters with whom children can identify. However, if one wishes to achieve these aims then it is important to choose books that are authentic. In this article some criteria for authenticity of the representation of the Holocaust and Jewish characters will be advanced and considered in conjunction with the reasons for making books on this topic available for children. Certain books will then be evaluated according to these criteria.

Die Holocaust as tema word deur heelparty kinderboeke gebruik om hierdie periode meer toeganklik en betekenisvol vir kinders te maak. Boeke kan help om kinders bewus te maak van die Holocaust deur die kompleksiteit van die historiese gebeurtenis oor te dra en om gebeure deur middel van fiktiewe karakters te verpersoonlik sodat kinders daarmee kan identifiseer. Indien hierdie doelwitte bereik wil word, is die seleksie van geloofwaardige boeke belangrik. Hierdie artikel poog om kriteria vir die geloofwaardige uitbeelding van die Holocaust en Joodse karakters daar te stel en te verduidelik waarom hierdie tema aan kinders bekendgestel moet word. 'n Aantal boeke word aan die hand van die gestelde kriteria geevalueer.

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