Hope Chest Online for Students 

Welcome to Hope Chest! 

Over the next several weeks, you will read a memoir written by a Holocaust survivor named Oskar Knoblauch. Oskar was only 7 years old, living in Leipzig, Germany, with his mother, father, older brother and sister, and uncle when the Nazi party came to power. Even at an early age, Oskar noticed how life quickly changed for him and his family. He enjoyed playing sports and going to school, and he had many friends. Oskar was confused when his neighbors, classmates, coach, and even friends and teachers began to treat him and his family differently. As conditions deteriorated, Oskar’s family attempted to escape persecution by relocating to Kraków, Poland. Tragically, in 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland, gaining control of Kraków. A Boy’s Story, A Man’s Memory: Surviving the Holocaust 1933–1945 is the harrowing story of how Oskar’s family’s struggle to survive guided values of hope, respect, and giving 110%. 

Over the past 15 years, Oskar has presented to more than 10,000 students and adults to share not only his experience during the Holocaust, but also to inspire each of us to eliminate hate from our vocabularies, respect ourselves and others, and to be an upstander—one who does what is right in the face of adversity. With this in mind, the activities in your student journal will ask you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your classmates. It is important that respect be shown for everyone at all times. Additionally, Oskar’s story touches upon sensitive topics, including violence and death, that may trigger emotional responses. Show compassion, empathy, and respect for the feelings of others. If you are particularly sensitive, you may skip over emotionally difficult content. Finally, as you read, remember that each of us faces challenges in life and has the power to make change.