Presentation on theme: "Click Image. Methodological Considerations Do not teach or imply that the Holocaust was inevitable The Holocaust took place because individuals, groups,"— Presentation transcript:
Do not teach or imply that the Holocaust was inevitable The Holocaust took place because individuals, groups, and nations made decisions to act or not to act. Focusing on those decisions leads to insights into history and human nature and can better help your students to become critical thinkers. Click Image
Pretend that you are selected to be a judge in the Nuremberg Trials. Using your knowledge of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and The Genocide Treaty as well as The Pyramid of Hate work as a group to assess the responsibility of particular perpetrators for what happened during the Holocaust. Categorize their actions as: Not Responsible Minimally Responsible Responsible Very Responsible *Determine what type of punishment would be appropriate for each category
Avoid simple answers to complex questions The history of the Holocaust raises difficult questions about human behavior and the context within which individual decisions are made. Be wary of oversimplification. Seek instead to nuance the story. Allow students to think about the many factors and events that contributed to the Holocaust and often made decision-making difficult and uncertain.
Strive for precision of language Any study of the Holocaust touches upon nuances of human behavior. Because of the complexity of the history, there is a temptation to generalize and, thus, to distort the facts (e.g., "all concentration camps were killing centers" or "all Germans were collaborators"). Rather, you must strive to help your students clarify the information presented and encourage them to distinguish, for example, the differences between prejudice and discrimination, collaborators and bystanders, armed and spiritual resistance, direct orders and assumed orders, concentration camps and killing centers, and guilt and responsibility. Try to avoid stereotypical descriptions. Though all Jews were targeted for destruction by the Nazis, the experiences of all Jews were not the same.
“Every ghetto and community that experienced the horrors of the Holocaust had its historians, every death camp its chroniclers. Young and old, learned and unlearned, everybody kept a diary, wrote journals, and composed poems and prayers. They wanted to remember and to be remembered. They wanted to defeat the enemy's conspiracy of silence, to communicate a spark of the fire that nearly consumed their generation and, above all, to serve as warning to future generations.” Elie Wiesel
Strive for balance in establishing whose perspective informs your study of the Holocaust Most students express empathy for victims of mass murder. However, it is not uncommon for students to assume that the victims may have done something to justify the actions against them and, thus, to place inappropriate blame on the victims themselves.
Contextualize the history Group portrait of six young Jewish women who are sunbathing in the Warsaw ghetto on the day they finished their high school matriculation exams. July 1942 This image demonstrates the will to continue with life even under extreme circumstances.
Timeline Exercise Using your timeline sheet locate the following pieces of information: What happened to Art in 1940? What was going on historically in 1940? Do you think the historical event impacted Art’s life?
Timeline Exercise Select one of the three photographs below, which one best fits next to this date on the timeline? The Nuremberg Laws Established- “You have no right to live among us as Jews.” Kovno Ghetto Established Aug. 15, 1941 Auschwitz concentration camp established The Soviet Union occupies Lithuania on June 15, 1940 Germany Attacks Soviet union on June 22, 1941
Kovno Ghetto Established The Soviet Union occupies Lithuania on June 15, 1940
Timeline Activity – Date: 1940 Historical Event(s): Lodz Ghetto established. Germany invades Holland, Belgium, France. Auschwitz concentration camp established. Warsaw Ghetto established. 1942 Jewish underground organizations established in Vilna and Kovno Ghettos. Fighting organizations established in Warsaw Ghetto. Art’s Event(s): Pushed into the Kovno ghetto after his town was destroyed, Arthur remembered, “German soldiers came in during a workday and took all the children and older people and shot them.“ Those who remained were loaded into boxcars. Photo of Event(s):
Dear Teacher, I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness: Gas chambers built by LEARNED engineers Children poisoned by EDUCATED physicians Infants killed by TRAINED nurses Women and babies shot and burned by HIGH SCHOOL and COLLEGE graduates. So I am suspicious of education. My request is: Help your students become human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmanns. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more humane. Haim Ginott, Child Psychologist and Survivor Letter To A Teacher By Haim Ginott