I hope that when you read The Year of Goodbyes, you are as awed by the emotional power of the handwritten poesiealbum entries reproduced in that book as I was when I first saw them. I hope they will remind you that every target of hate and bigotry is a person, with thoughts, dreams, laughter--and a distinct handwriting.
I invite you to send me your own page for this Poesiealbum Project. Students, adults--you are all welcome. And if you (or a family member) lived through the Nazi era, I would be honored if you would share some of your experience here.
Here are some ideas to help you get started.
I. Say something, in six lines or less:
- about a wrong in the world that you want to make better
- describing what you will do to combat bigotry and hatred
- to inspire someone who faces great adversity or fear
- reaching out to someone who's different from you--or who's an "outsider" in the community
- to Jutta (the main character in The Year of Goodbyes--and my mother)
- to one of Jutta's friends in The Year of Goodbyes
- to the young people in Nazi Germany in 1938 who chose to discriminate against, or torment, their Jewish neighbors
- to friends or classmates today who choose to ridicule people they deem "undesirable" or unacceptably different
III. A Suitcase: Jutta must leave behind many treasured possessions. If you had to leave your home forever--and could pack only one suitcase--what would you take with you?
IV. Your Story. Please share a few lines about your own, or a family member's or friend's, experience brought about by the the Holocaust.
You can write your poesiealbum entry in the comment form on this page. I also welcome handwritten pages, which you can scan and send to me as attachments to an email. Regular emails are fine, too. Write poetry, write prose; send drawings and scans of documents related to your entry. Send your page to firstname.lastname@example.org.