Below are topics for research. Students can write a paper or create a multi-media presentation about one or more of these topics.
- Research the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and their policies once they gained power. As a Jewish family, how would the Ferstenfelds be in particular danger under Nazi occupation?
- Find out more about the strategy of collaboration utilized by the French Vichy government under Marshal Pétain. Research the anti-Jewish laws, called the Statuts des Juifs, and explain how these laws would have affected Yvonne’s family.
- Find out more about those who helped Jews in France, including clergy (such as the Archbishop of Toulouse), towns (such as Le Chambon-sur-Lignon), and Jewish organizations (such as the Children’s Aid Society, Oeuvre De Secours aux Enfants-OSE).What were their motivations? What were the risks?
- Mr. and Mrs. Ferstenfeld were taken by force to transit camps, first in Toulouse and then near Paris at Drancy. From Paris they were forced onto cattle cars, and after three days arrived at a killing center called Auschwitz. Find out more about the deportation of French Jews and of other Jews who had fled to France from the occupied countries.
- Find out more about how the Allies liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp. What did the liberators discover there?
- Find out what happened after the war to other Jewish children who hid in convents or with non-Jewish families. If none of their own family members survived the war, what happened to them?
- Find out more about the various organizations that helped the Displaced Persons (DPs) like Mrs. Ferstenfeld at the end of the war. What services did they offer to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the survivors?