From Broken Glass Study Guide

  • For Educators
  • High School

A study guide for high school teachers who are using From Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation in the classroom.

Help students better understand the experiences author Steve Ross talks about in his book.


About From Broken Glass

Steve Ross was eight years old when the Nazis invaded his Polish village, forcing his family to flee. He spent his next six years in a day-to-day struggle to survive the notorious camps in which he was imprisoned, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau among them. When he was finally liberated, he no longer knew how old he was, he was literally starving to death, and everyone in his family save for his brother had been killed.

Learning about the Holocaust is an opportunity to translate statistics into personal stories—stories of individuals who had a life before the rise of the Nazi Party, who attempted against all odds to retain their humanity in the face of dehumanization and horror during the Holocaust, and who, if they were fortunate to survive, had a life after the Holocaust.

From Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation is the story of one such individual. It is the story of Steve Ross (born Smulek Rozental) and his life as a young boy in Lodz, Poland, his experiences during the Holocaust, and the life he built after liberation—a life that was dedicated to the poor and disenfranchised youth of Boston and to ensuring that those who perished in the Holocaust would never be forgotten.

...If I can survive what I did, they [students] can face their own struggles, come to grips with the injustices they're up against, and fight to overcome them, maybe even to prosper." —Steve Ross Share via Twitter Share via Facebook


About the Study Guide

ADL developed this study guide for high school teachers who are using From Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation in the classroom. In addition to discussion questions and suggested activities to use with the text, vocabulary and principles for effective Holocaust instruction are included, along with handouts from Echoes & Reflections. These supplemental materials provide context to achieve a greater understanding of Steve Ross’s experiences during the Holocaust. Used together, the materials allow students to put a human face to history while connecting what they are learning to their own lives.

Due to mature subject matter, this memoir is recommended only for older students.