Bookstagram Backlash for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a 2006 novel about the son of a fictional commandant of Auschwitz who befriends a Jewish inmate his own age, has been made into a film, a ballet and an opera. The hugely successful novel was described by its author, John Boyne, as a Holocaust “fable,” or morality tale, but it has faced sharp criticism by Holocaust educators and others in the Jewish community for distorting history and putting a feel-good overlay on a tragedy.  The book has been denounced by the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum for its inaccuracies and unrealistic imaginings of what Auschwitz would have been like both for Bruno, the Nazi commandant’s son, and Shmuel, the Jewish boy who Bruno befriends. The main gripe shared by many readers and reviewers is that the pathos of the novel...

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Jan Karski: Witness to the Holocaust with David Strathairn, Derek Goldman and Amy E. Schwartz

Actor David Strathairn, nominated for an Academy Award for his role as journalist Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, has dedicated himself to portraying great men. He’s currently performing as Jan Karski, the World War II hero who risked his life to carry his harrowing eye-witness report about the Holocaust from war-torn Poland to the Allied Nations and, ultimately, the White House, only to be ignored and disbelieved. Strathairn is in conversation with playwright Derek Goldman and Moment’s books and opinion editor Amy E. Schwartz about the play, Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski and why this courageous man’s story may be more relevant than ever.

This program is part of the Moment Theater Festival and part of a Moment series on antisemitism supported by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation.

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Pew Survey Reveals Americans’ Limited Holocaust Knowledge

Less than half of Americans can answer basic questions about the Holocaust, according to a new Pew Research Center report. The report, released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, examines the results of a survey testing Americans’ religious knowledge, which included five basic questions about the Holocaust. The results revealed that most Americans associate the Holocaust with the attempted annihilation of Jewish people: They know approximately when the Holocaust happened and what Nazi-created ghettos were, but less than half know how many people were killed during the Holocaust or how Hitler came to power. Four of the questions were also included in a separate Pew survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17. Like adults, teens know more about the general timeline of the Holocaust than the specific death toll. Becka Alper, primary...

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