Jan 24 - Mar 25, 2023 Lake of the woods museum

Tell Me a Story: Youth Literature and the Holocaust

This travelling exhibition, produced by the Montreal Holocaust Museum, introduces the history of the Holocaust and the Second World War to children eight years and older. Focusing on values and themes that are central to childhood, the exhibition is a starting point for raising awareness about the dangers of racism and antisemitism. 

The exhibit focuses on five works of youth literature that were inspired by the true stories of their characters.
  • In Hiding (Azrieli Foundation), by Marguerite Élias-Quddus, a Holocaust survivor, is centred on the three years that Marguerite and her sister spent in hiding under false identities with numerous families in France during the Second World War.
  • Hana’s Suitcase (Second Story Press), written by Karen Levine, tells the story of Hana Brady, a young Holocaust victim whose suitcase ends up in Tokyo at the Holocaust Education Centre, and Fumiko Ishioka, who tries to find out what happened to Hana.
  • What World is Left (Orca Publishing), by Montreal writer Monique Polak, is inspired by her mother’s experiences as a Jewish teenager imprisoned in Theresienstadt during the Holocaust.
  • The Fresh Smell of Soap (Éditions de la Paix), by Kees Vanderheyden, tells the story of the author’s friendship with Traudi, an Austrian child who was sent by the Red Cross to stay with his family in the Netherlands in 1948.
  • Fania’s Heart (Second Story Press), by Anne Renaud, is based on the remarkable true story of the Heart of Auschwitz, a heart-shaped booklet that was given to a prisoner on her 20th birthday in Auschwitz.

The exhibit provides visitors with the opportunity to create their own conclusion by inviting them to express themselves. The exhibition’s welcoming design allows young visitors and their parents to explore replicas of photo albums and other artefacts, to read books in a dedicated space and to ask questions raised by their exhibition visit. 



This exhibit is suitable for students in Grades 3 and up. If you wish to book a visit, please contact the Museum at 467-2105 to make the necessary arrangements. There are resources on the Montreal Holocaust Museum website to assist you in discussing this subject matter with your class:

Did you know?

The name “Kenora” is a portmanteau of the names of local towns Keewatin, Norman, and Rat Portage— KE from Keewatin,  NO from Norman, and RA from Rat Portage.