Advanced search be considering taking ds (12) to the Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum

(65 Posts)
preciouslillywhite Thu 15-Oct-09 19:53:31

Ds (Y8) has been reading The Boy In Striped Pyjamas in his English class. He's asking me lots of questions about the Nazis and the extermination of the Jews.

Have never been to the exhibition, although I've intended to...never had the nerve blush -understand it's got a recommended minimum age of 14.

Ds is relatively sensitive and thoughtful, but not overly so imo.

...also he has said "it couldn't happen again, could it?" do I tell him about Rwanda? Screbrenica (sp!)?

WWYD?take him- or leave it for a bit?

Cometrickortreatingwithme Thu 15-Oct-09 19:56:19

I would take my son who is also 12 but he has also read the book and had a lot of questions.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 15-Oct-09 19:58:33

Message withdrawn

tethersend Thu 15-Oct-09 19:59:00

I would call ahead and get advice from the education team at the imperial war museum- they are absolutely fantastic, and will advise you on this.


MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 19:59:44

it is pretty horrendous.
i had to walk past some

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 20:00:20

(and am ex history teacher so have seen a LOT of this stuff)

GypsyMoth Thu 15-Oct-09 20:01:40

My dd went aged roughly 10. We went to the museum in general, them came to the holocaust part. She loves history and was fine with it. She's 15 now and going to visit aushwicz next week in a school trip. Am nervous for her, but got alot of good mn advice.

stickylittlefingers Thu 15-Oct-09 20:03:11

Perhaps a more factual book to start off with? I remember having nightmares just seeing the pictures of all the bodies that the Nazis hadn't had time to bury before the Allies moved in, so I think I would have wanted the opportunity to "shut the book" to take it in, rather than be surrounded by it and feel perhaps a bit obligated to stay and look?

I don't think you're at all U, tho.

stickylittlefingers Thu 15-Oct-09 20:05:02

P.S. especially if you have any relatives who were involved. It's very hard to stomach for an adult, let alone a little boy. Small doses are easier (tho obviously not a lot).

I'm just thinking he would probably hate to be sobbing in a public place, for example, which is a possible outcome if it's an information/emotion overload.

Restrainedrabbit Thu 15-Oct-09 20:06:55 is from the IWM website, they don't recommend the exhibition for the under 14s and no admittance for the under 11s.

There is a number to call at the bottom of the page to get further info.

francaghostohollywood Thu 15-Oct-09 20:08:40

I haven't seen the exhibition, but it is a good idea to speak to the museum's staff.

By all means talk to him about Rwanda, Yugoslavia etc.

It's a good idea to show him books first, yes, I think I'd do that. If it were mine, if he still wanted to go after having gathered more information, I think I'd take him.

preciouslillywhite Thu 15-Oct-09 20:08:43

Thanks for all of these responses, very very helpful. Going to see it myself first is a very good idea- which I should've thought of myself blush for books was thinking of maybe showing him Art Spiegelmans Maus (comic strip book about his father's experiences in pre war Poland- you know the one, where the jews are mice, nazis are cats...) but my bf thinks it would be too much sad

francaghostohollywood Thu 15-Oct-09 20:12:48

Can I recommend this book? I read it when I was 12/13 and it's a great insight in the life of the Warsaw ghetto.

Goblinchild Thu 15-Oct-09 20:13:04

My boy read Maus in Y8 and thought it explained how people felt and what happened very well. It also gives a broader understanding of the involvement of other nationalities such as many of the Poles.

famishedass Thu 15-Oct-09 20:13:55

I've seen it and I wouldn't let my 12 year old go.

There was an old jewish man sitting on a bench, crying, when I went. Words can't describe how sad it is sad

throckenholt Thu 15-Oct-09 20:14:53

I read Holocaust at about 12-13.

I think I would talk about it a lot with him before deciding. Reading about something is not the same thing as seeing photos and films of it.

redpanda Thu 15-Oct-09 20:22:11

My ds is exactly the same age as yours and he also highly rated that book and is interested and knowledgeable in all things WW2 BUT I will wait until he is older before visiting. I think more maturity is called for. We live in South london so have visited the museum a few times and I have deliberately steered clear (but explained why).

preciouslillywhite Thu 15-Oct-09 20:34:09

sorry I was running up and downstairs so x-posted with a lot of replies!

Thanks so much, you've given me plenty to think about. I'll talk to him, and maybe give him Maus to read. In the meantime I'll go and see the exhibition myself, and think about taking him in a couple of years..

(thinking about it my own reaction is a problem. I last went to the IWM when I was pregnant with my dds and had to leave as started crying on just seeing word Kindertransport blush)

(will maybe leave it to his dad to take him instead, when he's a bit more mature!)

lovechoc Thu 15-Oct-09 20:36:14

YANBU although I had a moment when in Munich of wanting to go to Dachau Memorial Site but DS is only 2yo so that would have been completely inappropriate. Will go again when on my own without DC around..

Best to get advice from the Museum staff IMHO.

LadyEvenstarsCauldren Thu 15-Oct-09 20:51:27

I can actually say thats not true, the do allow under 11's ds1 is only just 11 and we took him 3 yrs or so again. He had read the book and asked about going.

wonderingwondering Thu 15-Oct-09 20:55:33

The exhibition is very distressing, and I personally think 11 is too young. There are a lot of less graphic methods through which he could learn about the holocaust, books, films (Schindler's List?).

I think going straight to such an intense exhibit could be too much - regardless of age I think you need to build up to it, and fully understand what you are going to see. Even then it is terribly shocking.

choosyfloosy Thu 15-Oct-09 21:00:08

Good grief not Schindler's List at that age, surely?

TBH I think the nearest I would go to this at 11 would be I Am David and perhaps Anne Frank's diary. But I don't have an 11-year-old yet.

choosyfloosy Thu 15-Oct-09 21:04:10

I think Maus is quite problematic too (though excellent in many ways). It is very threatening, very adult, and IMO I do wonder about having the different species in the book. I would understand that as showing how the Nazis were thinking about other peoples, but since the whole story is based on everyone being of their own species, and you can recognise other species at a glance, I would want children to be a bit older before they read it. Text-only books at least allow you only to have the pictures in your head that you are old enough to create IYSWIM.

TheGreatScootini Thu 15-Oct-09 21:06:48

It depends on your DS.I went to the Anne Frank Hus when I was about 9 in Amsterdam and found it very thought provoking (but then maybe that isnt as shocking as the exhibition at IWM, I havent seen it)

If you go with him and talk him through the exhibits etc, it might prove to be a really valuable experience for him?You can always walk past any really shocking images that you think might upset him?

Or if not, Anne Frank is a good way to acess the subject (the book obv, unless you can get to Amsterdam smile)

I think its great that you are making the effort to teach him about things like

preciouslillywhite Thu 15-Oct-09 21:14:01

GreatScootini- I tried him on Anne Frank a while ago, but he wasn't keen

(because it was about a girl is my guess- he's quite mature- but not that mature grin)

and floosy I get your point about Maus. I read it in my early 20s and found it more harrowing than any more general account because it was so personal. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing for a young gives it much more of a sense of immediacy and the sense that the people in the camps were people- just like us, iykwim...

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