Presentation on theme: "Janine Hamilton 0825778380. This presentation illustrates how the Durban Holocaust Centre attempts to build a bridge between a history far removed in."— Presentation transcript:
This presentation illustrates how the Durban Holocaust Centre attempts to build a bridge between a history far removed in time, space and place, from most of the learners who visit the Centre, to the present realities of the learner. The slide show is a sample of a lesson that is taught after learners have completed the introduction, short film and hour-long guided tour which reinforces the content knowledge and chronology of the history. Our aim is to attempt to demonstrate the possible relevance and significance the history could hold for high school learners. We address this aim by posing the question during the introduction:
What can the Holocaust teach me about the kind of person I want to be?
At the same time we attempt to improve the learners historical literacy by covering many of the benchmarks outlined in “Conceptualising historical literacy” by Maposa and Wasserman. A summary of the major aspects of historical literacy is outlined below. Marshall Maposa & Johan Wassermann, Conceptualising history literacy – a review of the literature; Yesterday and Today No 4. 41 – 66.
Dimension/benchmark of historical literacySub-dimension KnowledgeEvents Narratives Conceptual understandingTime Causation and consequence Motivation Significance Moral judgments Change and continuity Empathy Source work (Historical method)Sourcing Corroboration Contextualisation Analysis Evaluation Explanation Historical consciousness Historical language
M Silbert and T Petersen; 2007, The Holocaust, Lessons for Humanity (Published by the Cape Town Holocaust Centre), page 38 Lesson Learners, I want you to have a look at a photograph taken in 1938 in Austria after Anschluss. It is a primary source. It shows Nazis who had pulled Jewish shopkeepers from their shops and made them scrub the streets, sometimes using a toothbrush.
1.Why would they do this? How do the Nazis want the Jews to feel? 2.What is a “perpetrator?” 3.In this instant, can you identify the perpetrators? 4.Can you identify the victims? 5.What about the people at the back? What are they doing? 6.They are sometimes called “bystanders”. Who are they empowering by standing and watching; the victim or the perpetrators?
So we have identified Perpetrators Victims Bystanders There is another group. This consists of people who try to help the victims and stand up against the perpetrators. They are Rescuers, Activists, Helpers or Resisters. We shall call them Resisters 7. If the Bystanders had wanted to support the victims in some way, what might they have done? What are some of the possible choices they could have made?
There are many very inspiring stories of Rescuers and Resisters. Let us have a look at a few. The following photograph is of Oscar Schindler
“I did little, but if many had done their little it would have added up to much.” M Silbert and T Petersen; 2007, The Holocaust, Lessons for Humanity (Published by the Cape Town Holocaust Centre ) page 58 When interviewed Hugo Armann said: Most of us imagine and hope that we might have behaved heroically if we’d been alive during the time of the Holocaust. Many of us hope that we would have chosen to be a “Resister” or “Helper” in the face of such a crime against Humanity. Some of us hope that when faced with such a huge injustice against fellow Human Beings we would manage, like Hugo Armann, to find “our little” as we choose to help others.
The Holocaust did not start with murder; it started with racism, bullying, prejudiced attitudes, discrimination and stereotyping. Let us have a look at the Pyramid of Hate paying special attention to the first stage.
We shall now look and some case study scenarios and answer the questions: Why is this behaviour unacceptable? What could/ should we do about it? What sometimes stops us? 1.It’s civvies day at school, and one of your friends makes fun of the way another learner is dressed. 2.You notice a group of boys who regularly pick on a newly arrived immigrant from Somalia 3.You see a couple of guys on the stairwell pushing a youngster around and calling him “gay”. 4.Your granny comes for tea, and she makes racist comments. 5.Someone in your group tells a racist joke. 6.You hear someone from your school imitating another student’s speech impediment – for a laugh. 7.A new girl arrives in your class. She is tall and thin, and doesnt speak much English. The most popular, cool girl in your class appears to be deliberately ignoring her. One way to ensure that Genocide doesn’t happen in our community is to ensure that we never make it to level 1, to the Prejudiced Attitudes described in the Pyramid of Hate. We must choose to not allow the Prejudiced attitudes into our classrooms, schools, communities etc. Let us have a look at some every day scenarios where choices are made. The challenge for us is to find “our little” when faced with social injustices, bullying and any other social injustice.
We read the following letter of complaint from Mrs Gusenbauer to the Nazis authorities. Mrs Gusenbauer lived close to the concentration camp at Mauthausen and witnessed some of the brutality. This is a primary source. Whilst reading Mrs Gusenbauer’s letter of complaint, I want you to decide whether you consider Mrs Gusenbauer, In this instance, to be a Perpetrator, Victim, Bystander or Resister/Helper.
Letter of complaint from Mrs. Eleonore Gusenbauer of Ried, the village above Mauthausen, September 1941: ‘Inmates of the Mauthausen concentration camp are constantly being shot at the Vienna Ditch work site. Those who are badly struck still live for some time and lie next to the dead for hours and in some cases for half a day. My property is situated on an elevation close to the Vienna Ditch and therefore on often becomes the unwilling witness of such misdeeds. I am sickly in any case and such sights make such demands on my nerves, that I will not be able to bear it much longer. I request that it be arranged that such inhuman deeds will cease or else be conducted out of sight.’ Dokumentationsarchiv des osterreichischen Widerstand, or Gordon J Horwitz, IN the Shadow of Death – Living Outside the Gates of Mauthausen (The Free Press 1990), p. 35
Teacher notes Learners then discuss whether they consider Mrs Gusenbauer, in this instance, to be a Perpetrator, Resister, Bystander or Victim. Usually they simply call out “Bystander” or “Resister.” They are then asked to 1.Answer in full sentences. I think that Mrs G is a Bystander. 2.Use evidence from the text to substantiate their answers. I think that Mrs G is a Bystander because she doesn’t really care about what happens to the victims. She asks that the brutal acts be “conducted out of sight.” I think that Mrs G is an Resister because she is condemning the Nazis. It would take courage to call Nazi actions “inhuman” and “misdeeds”. 3. Put your answers in the 3 rd person. It can be argued that Mrs Gusenbauer is a Resister because she uses words like “inhumane” and “misdeeds” and it was not easy to criticise the Nazis. Or The words “conducted out of sight “ suggest that in this instance, Mrs Gusenbauer was a bystander, because she seems primarily concerned with herself and not with the fate of the victims.
References: Sources: Marshall Maposa & Johan Wassermann, Conceptualising history literacy – a review of the literature; Yesterday and Today No 4. 41 – 66. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem (www.yadvashem.org.il)www.yadvashem.org.il United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (www.ushmm.org)www.ushmm.org M Silbert and T Petersen; 2007, The Holocaust, Lessons for Humanity (Published by the Cape Town Holocaust Centre) Facing History and Ourselves 1994 Facing History and Ourselves Foundation, Inc www.facinghistory Dokumentationsarchiv des osterreichischen Widerstand, or Gordon J Horwitz, IN the Shadow of Death – Living Outside the Gates of Mauthausen (The Free Press 1990