I was equally more excited that I had an opportunity and reason to actually pick it up and read it. This is a great book that can be used as an accompaniment to the movie, or for children to read in class. I can see my students this year, being inspired to take action and do something after reading this book. Soon the students were overwhelmed with the massive scale of the Holocaust and asked Mrs.
Hooper if they could collect something to represent the lives that were exterminated during the Holocaust. Hooper responded that they could if they could find something that related to the Holocaust or to World War II.
Through Internet research, the students discovered that Johan Vaaler , a Norwegian, designed a loop of metal, and the Norwegians wore paperclips on their lapels during World War II as a silent protest against Nazi occupation.
At first the project went slowly, as it did not gain much publicity. Students created a website and sent out letters to friends, family and celebrities. The project began to snowball after it received attention from Peter and Dagmar Schroeder, journalists who were born in Germany during World War II and who covered the White House for German newspapers. The Schroeders took it upon themselves to crisscross Germany a total of 3, miles in search of one, and finally located a cattle car made in in a deserted rail yard.
The car, viewed as surprisingly small by the folks at Whitwell, would have held about 90 to tightly packed prisoners. We never learn what happened to the other 18 million clips stored in boxes and large cans. The rail car museum and memorial, which had been beautifully landscaped by volunteers, was dedicated on November 9, , the exact anniversary of Kristallnacht, with deeply moving remarks by Principal Hooper, both Schroeders, students from the Whitwell school, the prayer for the dead recited by Jewish students from Atlanta, and songs by Jewish students who came from Nashville.
One of the few "false notes" if it was that came from the admirable Linda Hooper when she declared: "Your history as a death car is erased. From here on you are a car of life. Indeed, the words sung as the film ends are, "You must not forget" and "Don't let the memory disappear. We see and hear many student voices as "talking heads," and they are earnest, even charming. But we get insufficient sense of the process by which information and understanding was transmitted.
If that is a flaw in the film, it is compensated for by other strengths. Joe Fab was the co-director of Paper Clips and Michael Marton did a superb job as director of photography for Hart Sharp Video; the multiple-award-winning documentary never lags or becomes maudlin. There is also a second and engaging DVD 84 minutes containing "bonus material": a visual account of a class trip to Ground Zero following September 11, , which included a Sabbath evening with Jewish students from northern New Jersey; testimonial interviews from several of the Holocaust survivors who made the trip to Whitwell; and pictorial shots showing in greater detail how the project developed and how the rail car actually made the convoluted journey from Germany to Whitwell.
We learn that among the immense amount of positive correspondence received at the school, there were only 12 negative or threatening letters. At one point Linda Hooper with her snow-white hair, always graceful and crystal clear, remarks that "the scariest thing in the world is to be a teacher.
Ultimately, the good folks of Whitwell, Tennessee, turn out to be anything but ordinary. They transcend time and place; the experience transformed them; and they have justly achieved international renown.
I may even read the book before showing them the movie! Some celebrities, like George W. City of Whitwell[ edit ] Almost all observers note the unexpected location of the project. Ultimately, the good folks of Whitwell, Tennessee, turn out to be anything but ordinary.
It then got picked up by other media, including NBC News with Tom Brokaw, prompting a deluge of paper clips, every one of which had to be counted. As of , more were still coming in.
It then got picked up by other media, including NBC News with Tom Brokaw, prompting a deluge of paper clips, every one of which had to be counted. That America has been divided by pundits into blue states and red states does not mean there are not good-hearted people living everywhere; in a time of divisiveness, there is something innocently naive about the paper clip project, which transforms a silly mountain of paper clips into a small town's touching gesture. It plays more like a local news report, and we get the sense that the documentary, like the paper clip project, grows directly out of the good intentions of the people involved. The Schroeders took it upon themselves to crisscross Germany a total of 3, miles in search of one, and finally located a cattle car made in in a deserted rail yard.
At first the project went slowly, as it did not gain much publicity. Advertisement David Smith, one of the teachers involved, says he knows he is stereotyped as a Southerner, and admits that he stereotypes Northerners.
Hooper, principal of Whitwell Middle School in Whitwell, Tennessee, asked Assistant Principal David Smith to find a voluntary after-school project to teach the children about tolerance. If that is a flaw in the film, it is compensated for by other strengths. Inside were 11 million paper clips, representing six million Jews and five million gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and others who were murdered by the Nazis. In changing their perceptions about minorities, the students of Whitwell also changed perceptions others may have held about them. Paper Clips Michael Kammen Sep 1, A generation ago, social historian Gerd Korman observed that "there is no Holocaust phenomenon in the historical writing of Clio's disciples in the United States, except among practitioners of Jewish history and Jewish intellectuals. The Schroeders found one of the actual rail cars used to transport Jews to the death camps, and arranged for it to be shipped to Whitwell.
Nonetheless, the compelling story it tells remains oddly exemplary of the problem that Korman noted because it doesn't show in depth just how the youngsters involved actually achieved substantive knowledge of what happened. Hooper responded that they could if they could find something that related to the Holocaust or to World War II. City of Whitwell[ edit ] Almost all observers note the unexpected location of the project. Having seen the movie, and used it in my classroom, I was very excited when I found this book.
The movie was shown for the first time in November in Whitwell. It is straightforward, heartfelt and genuine. In members of a five-town group of Holocaust survivors from just outside New York City decided to visit Whitwell. By the time the project was completed, the horizons of the population had widened considerably. Advertisement That could be a story like the one about the kid who was dying and wanted to collect business cards, and got millions and millions as his desperate parents announced he had recovered and no longer wanted more cards.