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Sharing important history

Local author writes about Holocaust

Posted: January 13, 2009 9:16 p.m.
Updated: January 14, 2009 11:30 a.m.

Margot Webb hopes to teach important lessons about history to future generations with her childrens' book, "Shadows at Noon."

Margot Webb hopes the dramatic adaptation of her Holocaust narrative, "Shadows at Noon," for a German audiobook will teach important lessons to generations of young students.

"If we could just get rid of all the prejudice in the world, that would be great," Webb said. "But we have not, so we have to work for it."

Webb, of Valencia, visited Germany multiple times in the past 10 years to speak to youth about her experiences as a young girl living during the Holocaust.

During her last visit in late December, German officials and community members gathered in Arnstadt to introduce and honor the four-hour-long audiobook.

It features a cast of actors audibly portraying a script of Webb's life that closely follows the book she wrote in 1992, she said.

Various schools throughout Germany will integrate the audiobook titled "Shadows over Christophorus," into its high school curriculum, Webb said.

She is forming study questions to accompany the audiobook lessons.

During the audiobook introduction left Webb with a bittersweet memory.

"I was happy and sad at the same time. I thought, ‘If my grandparents could just see this,'" she said. "I wrote the book out of a lot of pain, but out of love as well."

Webb was an adult when she discovered her grandparents sacrificed their visas so she and her mother could immigrate to America.

Nazis gassed and killed Webb's grandparents in a concentration camp in March 1943.

Webb's "Shadows at Noon" details the dark change she saw in Germany during the Holocaust.

"I was born in Germany and lived there as a child until the Nazis kicked me out," she said.

After the Nazis terrorized Webb and her family numerous times, she escaped with her mother in March 1938 on a boat.

"(My grandparents) insisted those visas should come to us," Webb said. "They died for us."

Samantha Breitbach, 7, of Stevenson Ranch, said she learned an important lesson after reading Webb's book, which is written for young children.

"(The book) made me feel happy and angry and sad at the same time because the Nazis (took) people away just because they're Jews," Breitbach said. "Just because someone's different than you doesn't mean you have to be mean to them. It's not fair."

Rabbi Mark Blazer of Temple Beth Ami said he hopes Webb's book could eventually become an audiobook in American classrooms.

"Obviously, we have a lot of work we still have to do to create a world without bigotry and prejudice," Blazer said.


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