Author Judy S. Walter looks to inform youth about Holocaust
Judy S. Walter has written a concise, easy-to-understand book about the Holocaust titled ¿Nightmare in Europe.¿ (Joe Crocetta / / April 17, 2013)
City in which you reside: Chambersburg, Pa.
Day job: Retired teacher
Book title: "Nightmare in Europe"
Genre: Historical nonfiction
Short synopsis of book: "Nightmare in Europe" is a concise, easy-to-understand book about the Holocaust. It includes stories of rescuers and survivors, as well as historical information.
Publisher: Sluser Publishing
What inspired you to write this book?
There were two motivating factors. One: I taught English at the Career Center as part of the Chambersburg Area Senior High School, and I led a unit on the Holocaust in conjunction with "Night," Elie Wiesel's memoir of the Holocaust. I had other people — a school principal whose husband worked at a Jewish school, a teacher whose grandfather died in a World War II concentration camp, and a survivor of a work camp in Germany — speak to my classes. Also, I took students along with other classes and teachers to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., each semester.
When I retired, another teacher suggested I write a short book that could be read by students as well as adults.
The second motivating factor was what so many survivors who I met said that one day they would all be gone and there will be no one left to tell their stories. I wanted to do my part, so I wrote "Nightmare In Europe."
What kind of research did you do for your book?
By teaching a unit on the Holocaust each semester for five years, I had accumulated much material. I've also met many Holocaust survivors in my lifetime and heard their stories. Long ago, I met and spoke with Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch woman whose family hid Jews during World War II. The ten Booms' strong Christian beliefs were their motivation for this.
I interviewed two survivors as well as the teacher whose grandfather died in a concentration-camp. I watched documentaries and other films, read books, and did Internet research. My references are all documented in my book's bibliography. I've also been to the Holocaust museums in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va.
Who is your intended reader?
My intended audience is young people, because I want them to learn tolerance and respect for others. But anyone can benefit from reading the book.
There are hundreds of Holocaust memoirs. What makes yours unique?