Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust pin

The Holocaust is a dark historical event that can be hard to comprehend for most people let alone kids. Some parents may find it easier to visit particular sites offering educational and interactive resources than talk about the events with their children. For families wishing to introduce their kids to the topic here are some suggested sites to explore.

 

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust sign

Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany

Dachau, Germany is the location of the first Nazi concentration camp created in 1933. Initially, the camp held political prisoners. Soon the camp also housed not only Jews but artists, intellectuals, members of the LGBT community, and even the physically and mentally disabled. Sadly many of the detainees were subjected to cruel medical experiments and torture too.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust path
A memorial was created for the prisoners in 1965 where visitors can visit some of the historic buildings in and around the camp. The landmark also offers access to its library and some special exhibits containing materials related to Dachau’s history.

Visitors should be aware that there is quite a bit of walking involved and that a typical tour can last anywhere between 2-4 hours.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust walk

Resistance Museu, Copenhagen

After the original museum closed due to an intense fire in 2013, the archive and artifacts of the Danish Resistance Museum moved from Denmark to Brede, North of Copenhagen. Nowadays, travelers can only visit these archives if they make an appointment ahead of time. Officials are hoping the new facility will open by the end of 2018.

When we visited in 2008, our kids had just read Lois Lowry’s Number of the Stars novel that described the plight of the Danish Jews, so they found the museum and its artifacts fascinating.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust window

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Located in central Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House is where the fifteen-year-old novelist lived during the war. Today, the house stands as a preserved national icon visited by thousands of tourists every year.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust anne frank

 

The house acts as a biographical museum for Anne Frank, her family and those who also hid with them. The museum displays original maps, letters, and stories written by Anne and her family. Visitors can also see interviews with Anne’s father (the only member to survive) as they travel through the house.

Parents should know there are quite a few stairs to climb to get to the Franks’ hideaway. The tiny alcove can get quite crowded with visitors during certain times of the year.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust statue

Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

The Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel is a living memorial to the Holocaust that safeguards the memory of the past and its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, Yad Vashem became the world center for documents, research, education, and commemoration of the Holocaust.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust stone

Today, Yad Vashem is a comprehensive primary source for those who wish to learn about the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Here, visitors can find a variety of original Holocaust-era documentation provided in English such as letters, diaries, and testimonies of survivors as well as photos.

Not to be missed is the outdoor garden. This place is dedicated to non-Jews like JanuszKorczakk who risked their lives to save kids and families during the Holocaust.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust forest

Pinkas Synagogue, Prague

Aaron Meshullam Horowitz built the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague in 1535. Originally a private establishment, the Pinkas Synagogue is covered with 77,000 names of perished Bohemian-Moravian Jews. It is Prague’s second oldest surviving synagogue, connected with the well known Horowitz family.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust bag
Exceptionally touching are the series of pictures drawn by children forced into concentration camps in Theresienstadt during lessons by painter Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. Before her deportation to Auschwitz, Dicker-Brandeis hid these drawings to ensure their survival, totaling 4,500 pictures.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust bench

Shoes on Danube, Budapest

Travelers to Budapest can view this great iron shoe memorial created by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer.
The site is dedicated to those who died by the hands of Arrow Cross, a concentration camp enforcer run by the locals. Here, the victims were taken to the edge of the river and ordered to remove their shoes before getting shot and tossed in the Danube.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust red

Holocaust Museum, Washington DC

The Washington DC Holocaust Museum holds a permanent exhibition that tells a narrative story of the Holocaust. At this museum, there are photos, film clips, historical artifacts and eye witness testimonies from this time. The museum also features numerous other exhibitions that change with time. These exhibits discuss how genocide happens and how to prevent it in the present and future.

Not to be missed is Daniel’s story. There’s also the thousands of shoes brought from Majdanek exhibits that create a powerful visual for visitors.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust museum

Photo Credit: US Holocaust Memorial Museum

 

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents to kids with autism should prepare their children for the visits ahead of time by watching age-appropriate movies and reading books.
  • Due to the popularity of the Anne Frank House, parents should prepare to stand in line for up to four hours before they can enter the museum.
  • Many of these locations feature extreme content that might not be appropriate for younger kids. Parents should use discretion before visiting.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary

 

Taking Kids With Autism

 

When visiting other countries, it is a good idea to visit that country’s capital. Budapest is Hungary’s capital and one of the largest cities in the European Union. With its stunning architecture  many museums  and excellent restaurants ,the city is bound to delight all families including those traveling with autism. After several trips to the scenic city here is our list of top attractions for families to explore.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary window

Discover Hungarian History at Buda Castle and Matthias Fountain

A truly breathtaking structure, Buda Castle overlooks the city with an impressive 300-meter long stretch facing the water. Rebuilt over thirty times since the Middle Ages, this Castle has seen many transformations and reconstruction efforts. Tours of the inside are available. However, travelers can have a pleasant time exploring the grounds surrounding the castle.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary river
Nicknamed the Trevi fountain of eastern Europe, Alajos Stróbl’s Neo-Baroque masterpiece is one of the most popular sites in the Hungarian capital. Originally commissioned by the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, the Matthias Fountain depicts the tragic love story between the King and Helen the Fair, a peasant girl and the heroine of a folkloric ballad written in the nineteenth century. According to the story, the girl and royal met while he was hunting and fell in love. However, Helen discovered her lover’s true identity and, assuming the romance wasn’t meant to be, died of a broken heart. The fountain shows The King in the center standing in hunting attire, Helen on the side protecting her fawn, and the hunting party and hounds below.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary statue

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents need to be aware that there’s quite a bit of walking involved, especially if they book a guided tour.
  • For those looking for a shorter trip, we recommend exploring the grounds.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary bridge

 

Learn about WWII at Shoes on the Danube memorial

This Memorial was created to remember the Jews killed by the fascist militiamen in the city during World War II. Their orders to the victims were simple: take off your shoes. After that, they shot them and threw their bodies in the Danube river between the cities of Buda and Pest. Mainly geared to older kids, this site provides a good way to make history come alive for children.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary museum

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents should introduce WWII to their children through books and movies. For middle school kids, we recommend Number of the Stars or The Diary of Anne Frank.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary dome

Enjoy Organ Music at St. Stephens

This Roman Catholic Basilica honors the first king of Hungary, Stephen the First. It is the third largest church in Hungary and, with its paintings and glass dome, is beautiful. Built in a neoclassical style architectural style, it has two large bells in its facade. Adventurous travelers wishing to get exceptional city views can climb 365 steps or take the elevators to the top of the dome. For a special treat, tourists can book tickets for a Sunday organ concert with well-renowned musicians

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary ceiling

 

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The organ sound is quite loud, so this activity isn’t recommended for noise sensitive kids.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary fresco

Relax at Gellert Spa

Gellért Spa is famous for its main hall with gallery and glass roof, built in Art-Nouveau style. This attraction is over 100 hundred years old and has only been closed once for repair during all of that time. The Baths complex, decorated with exquisite mosaic tiles, boasts thermal baths containing minerals like calcium and magnesium that are recommended for various conditions. The complex includes saunas, an open-air swimming pool with artificial waves, and a calmer swimming pool that kids with autism might find highly relaxing.
Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary statues

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Though most kids with autism will enjoy the pools, parents to children with smell sensitivities might wish to skip this activity.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary building

Marvel at Margret Island Musical Fountains

This attraction is a child’s dream. Away from the bustling city of Budapest, in the middle of the Danube, Margret Island is a popular tourist destination. The island’s family attractions include Medieval ruins, a rose garden, a historic water tower, swimming pools, and an open air theater and cinema. Younger Kids will marvel at the water park, the small zoo, and the musical fountains that play popular melodies.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary stairs

Autism Travel Tips:

  • This area is a great place to take kids with autism for a day trip.
  • Make sure to bring insect repellent and sunscreen.
    Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary front

Sample Delicacies at Central Market Hall

This massive three-floor building, which opened in 1896,  is one of the gems of the city. With over three stories of produce, meats, and fish markets the Central Market is a symphony for the senses. The marketplace is an excellent spot to introduce kids to the Hungarian fare while walking around the different food stalls.
Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary wheel

Autism Travel Tips:

  • If your child with autism loves chocolate, then they should try the Dobos torte.
    Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary music

 

Enjoy an Authentic Meal at Matyas Pince Restaurant

A few feet from Budapest`s Erzsebet Hid is Hungary’s most famous restaurants, Matyas Pince. Initially launched by the Dreher Breweries, the restaurant offers traditional delicacies in a bygone ambiance. Decorated in the original wood furniture, the Beer House features an authentic Romani band in the evenings. Kids will love the colors of the stained glass windows and the lively music.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary seat

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Hungarian dishes are quite spicy. Parents with children who don’t enjoy spicy foods should mention this to the server when ordering.
  • Parents to noise sensitive kids should ask for a table away from the band.
    Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary clothes

 

Shop on Vaci Utca Street

This location is Budapest’s pedestrian thoroughfare where locals and tourists go shopping and bar hopping. The main street, as well as the small streets intersecting it, have a plethora of Mom and Pop-type eateries that offer some of the local cuisines. The road starts at Vörösmarty Square and ends opposite the Central Market Hall at the Pest end of Liberty Bridge. Many of the shops are posh boutiques, though many souvenir stores specialize in arts and crafts from local artists. Like its European counterparts, the area is filled with performers and peddlers during the weekends.

Taking Kids With Autism to Budapest Hungary street

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents should warn their kids about pickpockets and scammers that will offer fake copies of electronic devices and designer clothing.

 

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