This website was started with the aim of helping primary school children, together with their parents and teachers, to know about an extraordinary event of the Italian period of the Holocaust. We are referring to the fact that in Milan, from 1939 to 1943, Jewish children, refugees from other countries, deeply suffering, were fed and taken care of by Israel Kalk, along with a small number of associates.
We refer here to material taken from the Fondo Archivistico Israel Kalk Foundation, which contains letters, photographs and other documents, gathered by Kalk himself, and given at his death, by his wife Giorgetta Lubatti, to CDEC (Foundation Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center).
The information given is divided into five sections:
- Israel Kalk and his archive
- The Children’s Refectory
- Suggestions for teaching
- Complementary items
The first section is devoted to introductory information about Israel Kalk and his archive and the general context: places, people and activities.
The second section is dedicated mostly to the activities of “The Children’s Refectory” in Milan and later in the Fascist Concentration Camp at Ferramonti di Tarsia.
The third section contains some documents written by children: thanksgiving postcards sent to Israel Kalk sent from internment camps, including texts and drawings from children still in Ferramonti Camp. There is also a description by Kalk of the different groups of Jewish refugees in Ferramonti Camp.
In the fourth section, after a brief introduction dedicated to teachers who wish to send a comment or a drawing by their students, there are six suggestions for teachers, mostly suitable for students aged between 8-11 years old. Each suggestion contains a focus on a theme, presenting children with some questions that help them to understand better Kalk’s message about children’s rights.
The fifth and last section provides extra material to understand the historical and cultural context of Fascist Italy during the years of the Holocaust (1938-1945), and of the Jewish traditions and history in Europe.
All this material was first presented and discussed with a group of teachers, librarians, cultural specialists and other people interested in the subject on the occasion of the “4th Specialised Course for Teachers: Holocaust Studies”, organized by CDEC on the 14th November 2016 in Milan.