Teaching The Holocaust — Through Comic Books

TO ORDER: $5.00 per copy, plus $2.50 postage for up to five copies. (For bulk rates, contact: info@wymaninstitute.org).

The Wyman Institute’s cutting-edge educational comic books about the Holocaust are being used in schools to help students understanding this difficult period in history.


Written by Rafael Medoff; illustrated by Dean Mother; edited by Mark Rothman.

Alan Cranston couldn’t believe his eyes.

The book in the Manhattan store window was an English-language edition of the infamous Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany. But as Cranston flipped through the pages, he realized the editors had removed the most violent and anti-Jewish passages–they were trying to fool the American public into believing that Hitler was moderate and reasonable.

The year was 1939. The Nazis were on the march, and the world was teetering on the brink of war, but many Americans preferred to ignore the danger. It was up to Alan Cranston, a young journalist–and future U.S. senator–to stand up against a monstrous dictator and expose the evils of Nazism to the American public.

This is the amazing but true story of one man who stood up for truth–and became the only American citizen ever sued by Adolf Hitler.

“This is a compelling account, in comic book format, of how Alan Cranston first took up the fight against fascism as a private citizen in the 1930s, and then – when he became a U.S. Senator – enlisted the power of the United States to rescue Ethiopian Jews in the 1980s.  It is brilliantly conceived, powerfully executed, and all true.”

–Michael B. Mukasey

Attorney General of the United States, 2007-2009

“I served with Alan Cranston in the Senate, so I always knew he was a mensch who spoke with a powerful voice against the forces of tyranny and oppression.  I did not realize, however, that he recognized and spoke out about the evils of Hitler in the 1930s, as described in this comic book. Every teacher in America should be using this educational tool in his or her classroom. What a great way to acquaint young people with these important and poignant chapters of history.”

— Hon. Rudy Boschwitz
U.S. Senator, 1978-1991 and child refugee from Nazi Germany

“True accounts of principled acts of humanity should be disseminated to all audiences.  This publication, using a comic book format, teaches young readers how Alan Cranston, as a courageous young man, did what he could to make a little-understood anti-Semitic ideology, Nazism, understood by Americans, and, decades letter, as a U.S. Senator, helped rescue Ethiopian Jews by prodding the U.S. government to bring a stranded remnant to Israel.”

–Prof. Walter Reich

former executive director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

TO ORDER:  $5.00 per copy, plus $2.50 postage for up to five copies.
(For bulk rates, contact: info@wymaninstitute.org).   Click here to order.

TO ORDER: $5.00 per copy, plus $2.50 postage for up to five copies. (For bulk rates, contact: info@wymaninstitute.org).


Written by Rafael Medoff; illustrated by Dean Motter.
Co-published by the Wyman Institute and the Jan Karski Educational Foundation.

In the darkest hours of World War II, a young Polish emissary is asked to undertake a perilous mission: to bring the Free World eyewitness testimony of Nazi atrocities against Jews—by having himself smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto and to a transit point for the Belzec death camp.

Can Jan Karski come out alive from the killing fields of Nazi-occupied Europe?

Will he succeed in bringing his shocking report to British and American leaders, including President Franklin Roosevelt?  And will the Allies take action to help rescue the Jews?

Find out in Karski’s Mission, the incredible but true story of a man who risked his life to expose the horrors of the Holocaust.

Here’s what students at Loyola University had to say about Karski’s Mission:

JESSICA REALZOLA:  “I was astounded and shocked when these government officials from all different ranks merely brushed off Karski’s testimony…Jan Karski is a hero for telling the horrific but honest truth of what the Nazi Germans were doing to the Jewish nation….Karski’s Mission: To Stop the Holocaust is inspiring, empowering, and heroic.” 

KARYNA BRAVO:  “When reading the comic Karski’s Mission, I was in suspense throughout the whole book…This is definitely an effective way to get the younger population interested in reading about the important people who have had an impact on society.”

DALTON SCOTT DAY:   “Previously one that held comics in contempt, the illustrated story of Jan Karski forever transformed the way in which I approach alternative forms of literature…Never would I have imagined that in so few words and in so few pages I would enter into a world that would forever provide me with a snapshot of Karski’s world.”

TO ORDER:  $5.00 per copy, plus $2.50 postage for up to five copies.
(For bulk rates, contact: info@wymaninstitute.org).   Click here to order.



Move over, Superman and Batman, there’s a new hero in the comic book world: an American government official who helped rescue Jews from the Holocaust is starring in a new educational comic book.

The full-color, 28 page comic book, titled “Blowing the Whistle on Genocide,” tells the amazing but true story of Josiah E. DuBois, an attorney in the Treasury Department who played a central role in exposing the State Department’s efforts suppression of news about the Nazi genocide and obstruction of attempts to rescue Jewish refugees.

The whistle-blowing by DuBois and several of his colleagues helped force President Franklin D. Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board, which helped rescue Jews from the Nazis in 1944-45. DuBois served as one of the board’s leaders. This spring marks the 75th anniversary of the board’s valiant effort to interrupt the mass deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz.

The riveting new comic book chronicles how the War Refugee Board, despite receiving little or no support from the White House and other U.S. government agencies, played a major role in rescuing over 200,000 refugees during the final months of the Holocaust.

“Blowing the Whistle on Genocide” is authored by Holocaust historian Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for the Holocaust Studies, and illustrated by award-winning comic book artist Dean Motter, creator of the acclaimed character “Mister X.” It is co-published by the Wyman Institute and the Goodwin Foundation.

According to an analysis recently published on the website of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “Comics can be an invaluable teaching tool…They can facilitate a better understanding of complex required texts by serving as a preliminary reading activity [and] they can replace less-accessible works from the literary canon while still conveying the same messages and using the same literary and rhetorical conventions.”

“Blowing the Whistle on Genocide” is the third educational comic book that Medoff and Motter have created. They previously collaborated on “The Book Hitler Didn’t Want You to Read,” which was the subject of a feature story in the New York Times. Edited by Mark Rothman, former executive director of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, “The Book Hitler Didn’t Want You to Read” told the story of a young American journalist who exposed Adolf Hitler’s attempt to foist a sanitized version of Mein Kampf on the U.S. public in 1939–and the unprecedented courtroom battle that ensued. “It is brilliantly conceived, powerfully executed, and all true,” said former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.

Their second comic book was “Karski’s Mission: To Stop the Holocaust,” which focused on a Polish Catholic underground courier who smuggled himself into the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942–and then brought news of the Holocaust to disbelieving world leaders, including President Roosevelt. “Karski’s Mission,” which was co-published by the Wyman Institute and the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Both comic books are now used as curriculum texts by high school teachers and college professors around the United States. In addition, a Polish-language version of “Karski’s Mission” is widely used in schools in Poland.

The Wyman Institute has also created Holocaust-related comic strips for the Washington Post (a collaboration with Maus creator Art Spiegelman), the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Marvel Comics, and Disney Educational Productions.

Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man and longtime publisher of Marvel Comics, who passed away recently, was a strong supporter of the Wyman Institute’s line of educational comic books. “The Wyman Institute has undertaken important and innovative projects to teach young people about the Holocaust through cartoons and comic strips,” Lee said. “I strongly applaud the Wyman Institute’s pioneering efforts to reach out to the younger generation, which can help ensure that the mistakes of the 1930s and 1940s will not be repeated.”

For information on ordering “Blowing the Whistle on Genocide” please contact: info@wymaninstitute.org