On their Annual day, Std VI performed ‘Hana’s suitcase’ about Hana, a 13-year old Jewish girl who was a victim of the holocaust. Vimala Subramaniam who teaches Std VI, corresponded with Fumiko Ishioka, Director of the Tokyo Holocaust Center, who got Hana’s suitcase on loan from the Auschwitz museum to tell the story of the Holocaust to children. To view some pictures from the play, click a related post here (will open a new window). Here we share their email exchange:
Vimala found Fumiko on Facebook and sent her a friend request. Vimala was ecstatic to receive a response:
Did you find me through Hana’s suitcase?
Thank you for the friend request.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Hana’s suitcase is now traveling to share the story with many more students. Here we publish updates! : )
The correspondence continued as you will see below:
I am teaching in Shishuvan High school in Mumbai, India. We staged the play on Hana in Oct for our school annual day. It was well received. We really appreciate the work you have put in to spread Hana’s story all over the world.Pl send me your mail i.d .And do write about yourself too.
Thank you Vimmi for your reply. How wonderful to hear that you did a play on the story of Hana!
Vimmi, I have a favor to ask of you. If you have, could you share with me any pictures of your students on that school annual day? (What is annual day, by the way? Is it like a festival day?)
I would very much like to share your experience with others students both in Japan and elsewhere in the world. I am sure your experience will inspire other students and encourage them to learn more.
If you don’t have the picture, a class photograph will be great too.
I look forward to hearing from you again. Please send my very best wishes to your students.
Thanks a lot for your prompt reply. I shall definitely send you the video link and the photos of the play on Hana. Right now, my school is closed for Diwali holidays. (Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated all over India on the 12th of Nov).
Annual Day comes every year in all the schools in which the students put up plays, songs and dances for the parents. In Shishuvan(the school where I teach) each and every student gets the chance to come up on stage and showcase their talents. We staged Hana’s suitcase with 79 6th graders. If you go on our website www.shishuvan.com, you will get a clearer picture of our school.
The director of our play Sudeep was thrilled to hear from you and he has done a fantastic job of directing the play, which you will be able to see when I send you the link.
One very important thing dear Fumiko — I had mailed Lara Hana Brady asking her about Hana’s brother George,but didn’t get her reply. Could you please enlighten me about him.
Do tell me more about yourself, your family et al. My children in school will be absolutely delighted to know that I am in touch with you..
How wonderful to hear that the story of Hana reached out to you and your students in India!
Who would have imagined that when this one suitcase arrived at my tiny education center back in 2000. I can’t wait to see pictures of your wonderful students.
George Brady is a true hero for me.
Finding all about Hana brought us mixed emotions.
The thought of 13-year-old Hana being sent to Auschwitz all alone was heartbreaking, but when we thought about the pain George must have had after losing such a sweet little sister it was even more devastating.
But it was not the end of the story.
In spite of what he went through, George never gave up and decided to live for the future.
He has now built such beautiful family in Canada.
Thanks to his courage to share with us his most difficult memories, we now all learn about Hana and through Hana we learn the lessons of the history.
Hana’s suitcase now travels all over Japan. We have been to schools in Canada, Mexico, Germany, and South Africa and many other places. Here you can see our past journey.
I am assuming your students read Hana’s Suitcase in English…?
The book is also translated into Marathi.
The reason why I’d love pictures of your students is because I would of course like to share it on our website, but also I was thinking I could add it to this special photo album I’m (secretly) preparing for George for his 85th birthday next year.
I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
All the best,