Buried Treasure
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Saint Maximilian Kolbe: Mary's Knight Book Guide
Saint Maximilian Kolbe: Mary's Knight Book Guide
Posted by Kim on August 13, 2013 08:23 Article Rating

World War II and the Holocaust are hard topics to teach to children because it is difficult to wrap our own heads around the terrible atrocities that occurred.  As an adult, I still don’t understand why the Nazis felt like they had to murder so many innocent people.  What was Hitler’s problem!?  How could something like this happen, not too long ago?  It’s quite scary to think about, and really something that we would like to shield our children from for as long as possible.  But I’ve never been a fan of the saying, “Ignorance is bliss;”  I’m much more of a “knowledge is power” kind of gal.

            You know your child best.  If you think they can handle it, research World War II with your child.  There are several books that are appropriate for upper-grade children on the Holocaust (Number the Stars and The Diary of Anne Frank) that you could read together.  Visit museums or talk with someone who lived during the war.  Once your child has a basic understanding of what concentration camps were then I would highly recommend our Encounter Book on Saint Maximilian Kolbe.  His sacrifice, devotion, and martyrdom become so much more powerful knowing what terrible places the concentration camps were.  His example encourages us all to find the strength to sing, even when life gets tough.  And this is a lesson that every kid needs to learn.

Discussion/Written Response Questions

  1. Maximilian’s entire family devoted themselves to God.  What does your family enjoy doing together?  Do you have a special hobby or interest that you all share?
  2. Many people thought that Maximilian’s dreams of making movies and starting a magazine were “crazy.”  It turns out that these were great ways to preach.  What is innovation?  How can we tell the difference between innovation and a crazy idea?
  3. Maximilian volunteered to starve to death so that a man with a family could live.  What is the nicest thing that you have ever done for someone?  What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
  4. How did Maximilian maintain a positive attitude at Auschwitz?  What helps you when you feel scared?  Are there some things in your life that you have a negative outlook on but seem small after reading what Maximilian went through?  How will you change your attitude when those negative thoughts creep in?

Geography Connection


History Connection

World War II and the Holocaust

Class Project

Start a class newsletter that can be sent out to parents or distributed around the school.  Students can brainstorm their own story ideas and pitch them to the class.  Anyone interested in helping to gather information, draw an illustration, or write the story can volunteer.  Everyone in the class should play a part in the newsletter’s production.  Afterwards, have a class discussion about the difficulties of producing a newsletter and compare them to the difficulties that Maximilian faced when first starting his magazine.


Create a Venn diagram comparing the lives and martyrdom of Maximilian Kolbe and Edith Stein.


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