ELA Middle School
Literature has the power to influence our lives. In this audio story, several fifth graders at Anne Frank Elementary School in Philadelphia reflect on the lessons they have learned from reading Anne Frank’s innermost thoughts in "The Diary of a Young Girl." Their fifth grade class is diverse, with kids from many countries and cultures all over the world. You will hear many students explain how they can relate in different ways to the sentiments Anne Frank expresses in her diary. Listen to learn more about the ways these students think Anne Frank’s diary brings us together, gives us hope, and inspires us to never repeat the horrors of the past.
Current Event December 11, 2017
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum recently opened with the help of former Texas Senator, Florence Shapiro. Shaprio is a first-generation American whose family faced tragedy throughout the Holocaust. As she grew up, Shapiro continued to hear more stories about her relatives who lived in Berlin throughout the 1930s. She has made an effort to share this history with her children. Listen to hear how opening the museum carries on her father’s legacy and has allowed Shapiro to educate people of all ages about the Holocaust.
ELA High School
Serving in the military during a war can lead men and women to experience events that affect them for the rest of their lives. Louis Zamperini was one example. Laura Hillenbrand wrote a best-selling novel, “Unbroken”, which tells his story. It is set in World War II where Zamperini fought for survival on a life raft in the Pacific Ocean, was held as a POW by Japan, and later struggled in civilian life to deal with his war memories. This story, told at the time of his death in 2014, is a previous interview with Hillenbrand, where she recounts Zamperini’s story of survival during the war and his struggle to find closure in the decades following his return home. Listen to hear this extraordinary story of courage, despair and redemption.
ELA Middle School
Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” is a creative and sensitive retelling of one man’s experiences during the Holocaust. As a graphic novel, “Maus” uses comic strips and drawings to help tell its story. The drawing on its cover, however, has been met with controversy in some parts of the world. Featuring a prominent swastika at its center, the cover art has faced objections in places like Russia and Germany. Listen to hear more about how well-intentioned rules around censorship can lead to unintended consequences.
ELA High School
Though Joseph Heller’s novel “Catch 22” was published more than a half century ago, its ideas and attitudes remain relevant today. The book’s title has even become a part of our language. The novel, which takes place on the battlefield during World War II, was inspired by Heller’s own experiences in war. He decided not to write a typical war novel, though, and early critics were surprised and even offended by the book’s tone and content. Listen to hear why “Catch 22” felt new and different at the time it was published, and learn how its ideas have continued to endure today.
Current Event June 6, 2016
Obama recently visited Hiroshima, Japan, to honor the memory of all who lost their lives in World War II. The city was the first to be hit with an atomic weapon in 1945. Nagasaki was the second. Obama is the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima. He did not apologize for using nuclear weapons on Japan during his visit, but paid respect to the victims. Listen to hear more about this historic visit.
Current Event December 2, 2015
It has been 70 years since Nazi leaders went on trial in the German city of Nuremberg for war crimes committed during the Holocaust. During World War II German military leaders robbed, murdered, imprisoned, and tortured millions of Jews. The Nuremberg trials focused on uncovering the Nazi plan of aggression. Crimes against humanity got the least attention. The trials were seen as fair, and 3 people were actually acquitted. Since the Holocaust, some other war criminals have been brought to trial, but there has been little progress in prosecuting war crimes. Listen to hear more about the Nuremberg Trials and how the ideas from these trials are applied today.
Current Event August 16, 2015
The search for food that is low cost, tasty and slow-to-spoil has been an ongoing goal of the military, especially during World War II. That’s why military science has influenced the food in school lunches, as well as other convenient foods such as granola bars and juice boxes. Military research and ingredients are found in many foods, including the McDonald’s McRib Sandwich. A new book encourages people to think more about where convenient, non-perishable food comes from and whether this food science should be used so commonly outside the military.
ELA High School
Kurt Vonnegut used his personal experience as a prisoner of war during World War II to write the novel "Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade." Twenty-five years after this experience, Vonnegut memorialized it in a unconventional novel that combined satire and science fiction to reveal the reality of war. Listen to learn more about what inspired the novel and how it liberated people to honestly discuss war.
Current Event March 4, 2015
When the Nazi Party expanded its power and displaced Jews in Germany and other European countries, Nazis confiscated their belongings. Before becoming a politician and leader of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler was an aspiring artist, so art was a particular target for him. He had plans to build his own personal museum after World War II, using 14 pieces of art owned by Baron Rothschild of Vienna. Listen to learn how the art, jewelry and rare books of the Rothschild family made it from the Nazi’s possession to an art museum in Boston.
ELA Middle School
The novel "The Book Thief" is narrated by Death. He tells the story of a young German girl saving books from Nazi bonfires to read to the Jewish man hiding in her home. But the novel was actually written by author Markus Zusak. In this public radio story, he explains his choice of Death as the narrator, and the message he hopes teenage readers get from the novel.
Current Event November 12, 2014
This week marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism in West Germany. The Berlin Wall was a physical and emotional divider of democratic East Germany and communist West Germany. When it was torn down in 1989, an unlikely American TV star played a surprising role in the fall of the wall. David Hasselhoff of the hit TV show Baywatch, sang a concert to crowds at the Brandenburg gate. This public radio story remembers that moment in history and its impact on German citizens.
Current Event November 2, 2014
World War II was full of battlefronts, Europe, Africa, Asia, but what about on the shores of America? Nautical archaeologists have found evidence of secretive fighting that was going off right off America’s East coast between German submarines, known as U-Boats, and American freight vessels carrying supplies to Europe. A new discovery of a sunken German U-Boat and U.S. freight vessel side by side is helping historians better understand this period of WWII history, known as The Battle of the Atlantic.