Petr Ginz was born on February 1, 1928, and his young sister, Eva Ginzová, on February 21, 1930, in Prague. Although Petr and Eva's mother, Maria, had been raised in a Catholic family, she and her husband, Otto, kept a liberal but traditional Jewish home.
Four months after Germany annexed Czechoslovakia, anti-Jewish measures modelled after the Nuremberg Race Laws were implemented. Petr and Eva were both classified as "Mischlinge" of the first degree—children of a "mixed marriage" in which two grandparents were Jewish.
By December 1941, deportations from Prague to the Theresienstadt ghetto had begun, and the Ginz family was gradually broken up. Petr was deported in October, 1942, at the age of 14, and Eva in April 1944, also at the age of 14. Petr was deported to Auschwitz in September 1944 and was murdered in the gas chambers. Eva survived and was reunited with her parents in Prague after the Theresienstadt ghetto was liberated by Soviet forces on May 8, 1945.
Through a close reading of diary entries, students consider the fear, denial, anxiety, sadness, and grief that individuals separated from loved ones during the Holocaust experienced.
Students explore the artwork of a young man imprisoned in the Theresienstadt ghetto and consider the value of creative expression as a means to cope with oppression.
Through diary entries and historical documents, students deepen their understanding of daily life in the Theresienstadt ghetto during the final months of the Holocaust.