Graphic novels about life in the pre-war Serbia and the Holocaust victims of the concentration camp at Sajmište
Educational concept and teaching material
Supported by OSCE/ODIHR in the frames of the programme “Turning Words Into Action to Address Antisemitism”, and leaning on the outcomes of the Historical Archives of Belgrade’s project “Escalating into Holocaust”, Terraforming created educational material “Ester” based on personal stories of young victims from Belgrade and Pancevo murdered at the concentration camp at Sajmiste in Belgrade.
What Is Ester?
Ester graphic novels are a teaching material, its most important part being a series of dramatized stories about the Jewish victims killed in the Jewish Camp at Sajmište in Belgrade (Judenlager Semlin) in the beginning of 1942. The stories focus on young victims and their families, their pre-war life, the life under the German occupation and during the Holocaust. They are based on the true historical events and characters.
Ester was produced by an international team consisting of expert historians, teachers, experts for the Jewish culture and tradition, Holocaust survivors, as well as a group of illustrators from Serbia and the Netherlands were working together on its materialization.
Ester graphic novels were created as a reconstruction and dramatization of history based on available fragments of personal stories, having in mind a certain target and age group: 14-18 years old students of higher grades of the elementary school and the secondary school students in Serbia (and elsewhere). Taking this approach, while keeping historical events and facts as central in the stories, we put the main focus on human aspects, feelings and thoughts of the main characters, with aim to engage students on a different level, thus creating a creative and engaging tool for teaching and learning about the Holocaust.
The material is available in English and Serbian on the website www.ester.rs
Graphic novels about Holocaust
In the course of creating this material, experts from Serbia, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries were consulted, while a team consisting of expert historians, teachers, experts for the Jewish culture and tradition, Holocaust survivors, as well as a group of illustrators from Serbia and the Netherlands were working together on its materialization.
The concept consists of several elements, which allow a flexible approach to the work, opening a space for creativity in organizing workshops and research work both for students and for teachers.
Ester consist of four graphic novels:
- A historic overview: Sajmište – from a symbol of a bright future to the place of death
- Two parallel timelines:
- National Socialism and Antisemitism in Nazi Germany, and Holocaust in Europe
- Holocaust in occupied Serbia and concentration camp at Sajmiste
- Graphic novels in Holocaust Education – overview
The Belgrade Fair before WWII. During the German occupation it was transformed into a concentration camp.
The project was supported by OSCE/ODIHR The Organization For Security And Co-operation In Europe – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, in the frames of the programme Short Projects: Turning Words Into Action to Address Antisemitism