On the morning of September 1, 1939, 13-year-old Oskar recalls the sounds of German bombers flying low over the rooftops, releasing destruction on Kraków’s railway station and buildings throughout the city. This was the beginning of the “war whose effects would be felt throughout the world for many decades to come.”  

Welcome to Hope Chest

Hope Chest is a curriculum and complete set of teaching resources designed to immerse students in Holocaust survivor Oskar Knoblauch’s memoir, A Boy’s Story, A Man’s Memory: Surviving the Holocaust 1933–1945. This emotional coming-of-age story recounts Oskar and his family’s struggle to escape the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany by fleeing to Poland, only to be subjugated to the Kraków ghetto and forced labor camps. Oskar’s story of survival and relevant themes of hope, respect, and giving 110% will inspire and connect directly to students’ lives while supporting academic standards, Holocaust education, and social and emotional learning competencies.  

Curriculum connections: English language arts, history, social sciences, social and emotional learning competencies  

Chapters are grouped into themed sections, each with engaging lesson plans that include journal prompts, arts activities, and chapter questions. Students will be captivated when the Hope Chest—an authentic World War II-era trunk—arrives in the classroom! Open to find a treasure trove of materials, including a class set of A Boy’s Story, A Man’s Memory: Surviving the Holocaust 1933–1945, replica WWII-era maps, artifacts, and workbook journals for students to keep! The experience concludes with the presentation of personalized certificates achievement that students will sign and to commit to being upstanders and receive their “keys” to success.   


  • (1) Teacher’s Guide
  • (35) copies of A Boy’s Story, A Man’s Memory: Surviving the Holocaust 1933–1945
  • Class set of Student Journals (students will keep)
  • (1) flash drive of lesson materials (2) WWII era replica maps
  • (1) 1937 German pfennig
  • (1) 1942 German stamp
  • (1) wooden-soled shoe handmade by Oskar Knoblauch
  • (1) one hand-embroidered replica Star of David armband
  • (10) antique clay marble
  • (1) paper airplane made by Oskar Knoblauch
  • Class set replica vintage keys (students will keep)
  • Class set of white gloves
  • Folder containing 33 enlarged images, artifact information sheets, Socratic Seminar instructions, and rubric.
  • Inventory & condition report

Cost: Free to reserve with pick-up and drop-off at Scottsdale Arts. Delivery is available for a fee. 

Please allow four to five weeks to complete Hope Chest.

Hope Chest is available for the following dates:

  • August 5 – October 4, 2024
  • October 14 – December 20, 2024
  • January 6 – March 7, 2025
  • March 17 – May 22, 2025

For more information or to book Hope Chest, email us at [email protected].

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Oskar Knoblauch’s story is an emotional tale of holding onto hope against all odds that will engage and inspire. 

Interested in purchasing the book?
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Hope Chest lessons include a variety of interactives, including Socratic seminar, tableau, photo analysis, and six-word story to build 21st century learning skills.  

Download PDF (3mb)


Hope Chest organizes A Boy’s Story, A Man’s Memory into thematic sectionsStudent journals correspond with each section and include vocabulary, chapter questions, journal prompts, and a critical thinking arts activity. 

Download PDF (3mb)

Excerpt from Book

Provided with permission from the author, Oskar Knoblauch

Presenting Partner

Signature Partners

Hope Chest is supported by the Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix.

In-kind printing support generously provided by APS.