Readers Have Some Thoughts About Recent Reviews and Essays

How to Remember

To the Editor:

In her essay about the profusion of Holocaust-themed children’s books (July 11), Marjorie Ingall makes a valid point: There are other stories to tell about being Jewish. But the Holocaust is not “the cornerstone of our collective identity” so much as a collective memory rooted in trauma and demanding of attention. Holocaust-themed books for children are not about scaring “Jewish kids into loving their Jewishness” or “trying to guilt non-Jews,” but about providing young, impressionable human beings with well-told stories that encourage strength and resilience at a time of intense hate and prejudice. While Ingall is also right that the Holocaust should not simply be used as a convenient backdrop to provide gravitas, increasing ignorance regarding the Auschwitz concentration camps makes thoughtful, imaginative books on this powerful subject more essential than ever.

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