December 2, 2016
For this year’s Design Thinking day, the Museum commissioned Year 10 students from the Wenona School to create a graphic novel strip based on the testimony of Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku.
They have written about their experiences and shared some of their work below. With thanks to girls and their teacher Luke Simkins for these incredible renderings of a very special life.
On the 14th and 15th of November Year 10 of Wenona had the honor to hear and interpret Eddie Jaku’s story and recreate it through a graphic novel. We firstly were fortunate enough to hear the history of graphic novels and their connection to the Holocaust. We were given a brief to create a short graphic novel to depict Eddie’s story. To help with this, we watched Eddie’s testimony to inspire our creations. We were then given time to collate and create our graphics. This was a very meaningful experience for me as I both love modern history and I have family connections to the Holocaust. This activity motivated me to read more about my family’s past and to learn what my ancestors had to endure during the Holocaust. I think that it is important to make survivors testimony available for a range of age groups in a range of mediums. I believe that by making these testimonies accessible it teaches people the wrongs that have been committed in the past which hopefully prevents them happening again in the future. Overall, this was an eye opening experience and we all hope Eddie will enjoy our creations.
Throughout 2016, Year 10 have visited the Sydney Jewish Museum and met a couple of Holocaust survivors, namely Eddie Jaku. Eddie has recounted his harrowing history of surviving Auschwitz, the loss of his parents and the brutalities that he faced whilst under the oppressive Nazi Regime during the 1930s and 40s. However, he has never formally written down his testimony or put it on the record books for many different reasons.
In light of this, on Year 10’s Design Thinking Days, we were tasked with depicting certain aspects of Eddie’s story in the mode of a Graphic Novel. We had to be mindful of how we were representing Eddie’s story and how best to do that in this medium, as it was such a powerful source of hope for those during WWII with publications of superheroes such as Superman and Captain America.
Year 10 spent two days creating these novels, attempting to adequately convey Eddie’s story so that it may be carried on for generations. His messages of never hating, but never forgiving or forgetting have had a resounding impact on Year 10. We will never forget him.