Study Curriculum

Classroom Curriculum – Sevek: The Boy Who Refused to Die

Elizabeth Shaw, Ed.D, St.Augustine Catholic H.S., Tucson, AZ, developed an excellent teaching curriculum using my book. You can access the full curriculum below.
Author: Based on the many contributions of educators and students throughout the country, this unit is designed to promote a wider understanding of The Holocaust through the use of the book: Sevek:The Boy Who Refused to Die.


Using the book, Sevek: The Boy Who Refused to Die, students will understand the development, the destruction and the overall impact of the Holocaust on the children who were persecuted and annihilated during World War II. Supplemental lesson plans and activities related to the Holocaust in general will be incorporated.

Learning Activities

Materials and Resources:

  1. Students look for old news articles on the Holocaust — articles that appeared at the time; students will produce a bulletin board memorial displayed in a key area of the school where visitors can look at it.
  2.  Students visit the Jewish Community Center in the city in which they live; interview speakers and other key individuals at the center; collect materials from the center and make a collage on poster board; present collage.
  3. Students write their own newspaper about a modern day Holocaust and its impact.
  4. Students create a reflection bulletin board where they are given a true experience to reflect upon and write about. The reflections can center around issues related to children of the Holocaust or it can be adapted to the Sevek book. For example, students can put themselves in Sevek’s place and write about what they think they might have done if they were him.
  5. Students read another book about children and The Holocaust and compare and contrast the experiences of the authors.


  1. A-Z Dictionary for Sevek.doc
  2. Concentration Camp Travels.doc
  3. Poland Map Activity.doc
  4. Reading Comprehension Questions.doc
  5. Vocabulary (General)
  6. Curriculum Overview

Email Sidney at to learn more about how he can assist you with Holocaust Education in your classroom.

Resources and Links

Holocaust Survivor Sidney Finkel Shares Story at Church on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
KGUN ABC-TV January 27, 2019

“Holocaust survivor tells story to thousands of children via global talks, book”
Arizona Jewish News July 17, 2018

Robert Rinder, known better as television’s Judge Rinder in the United Kingdom, explores his grandfather’s holocaust history. He was one of The Boys and his journey mirrors Sidney’s.  Robert takes an emotional trip to the sites where his grandfather Morris worked and lived before escaping to the Lake District in the UK.
Who Do You Think You Are, August 2018

As survivors dwindle, Finkel certain their stories will live on
Daily Southtown Chicago Tribune July 11, 2016

I knew I’d feel sad on our trip to Germany. I wasn’t expecting to be so angry.
By Bari Finkel
Tablet Magazine April 15, 2015

‘The boy who refused to die’
Sidney Finkel talks relates Holocaust horrors January 22, 2012

Piotrkow Trybunalski – The First Ghetto in Occupied Poland
Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

Concentrations camps where Sidney Finkel and his family were prisoners and were murdered.
Terezin Memorial 

Isaac Finkelstein, brother of Sidney Finkel –  interview conducted by the Imperial War Museum as part of their retrospective oral history interview program.

After the war, a particular group of young survivors left eastern Europe together to start new lives. Many eventually settled in the UK, others in North America, Australia and Israel. They have retained strong contacts and are known collectively as the 45 Aid Society ‘The Boys’.

Jewish Cemetery and information about Piotrków Trybunalski, the town where Sidney Finkel was born.
Virtual Shtetl

SS Liberte was a French ship that transported Sidney to the United States in 1951.
SS Liberte