The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program

In this activity, students will use testimony to learn about Claire Baum's experiences in hiding during the Holocaust, her moment of liberation and her life after liberation.

May 8, 2020, is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – Victory in Europe Day – marking the liberation of Europe from Nazi control and the end of World War II in Europe.

A liberation scene in the Netherlands © Library and Archives Canada PA-136176

Teachers, are you looking for an online activity to help your Grade 6, 7 or 8 students reflect on the significance of this anniversary? We have partnered with the USC Shoah Foundation to create a short activity that students can complete from home to help them reflect on the role of the Canadian Army in liberating Europe and the significance of the end of the war for Jews who had survived the Holocaust. Students will learn about this historical moment through the perspective of a Jewish girl in hiding named Claire Baum – a Holocaust survivor who later immigrated to Canada with her family. Claire has left many records of her experiences (written memoir, photographs, video testimony) that students can engage with to deepen their understanding of the significance of liberation.

Claire (right) and her sister, Ollie, with two of their liberators. May 5, 1945.

View the activity here:

Students will complete the activity through the online iWitness educational platform. For instructions on how to register as a teacher and assign an activity to your students, follow these quick tips from the USC Shoah Foundation:

Let us know how it goes! We’d love to hear from you. Email us at or comment on our Facebook post, and share the activity with other teachers

Read Claire Baum’s memoir to learn more about her incredible survival experiences: