Holocaust Remembrance in the Classroom
Today marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, an international commemoration of the millions of people, mostly Jews, who were persecuted and killed in Nazi Germany.
In honor of the remembrance, here are some articles and outside resources that educators may find of use:
- A somewhat nontraditional lens for viewing the Holocaust, but one that many teachers have found useful, is the study of onlookers. As this piece explains, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has an exhibit dedicated to looking at why European citizens chose to help the Jews, harm them, or look the other way.
- The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum also has some guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust. Among other things, the museum says teachers should use precise language, avoid comparisons of pain, and refrain from implying that the events were inevitable. The museum has a list of videos, essays, survivor accounts, and books that can help with Holocaust instruction as well.
- In January, hundreds of teachers traveled to Poland to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Read more here about the professional-development program behind their trip.
- The USC Shoah Foundation's iWitness collection has about 1,300 testimonies and multimedia activities related to the Holocaust that teachers can access for free.
- The nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves has a collection of resources about the history of anti-Semitism, a guide to exploring survivor testimony, and a gallery of artwork by Holocaust survivor Samuel Bak.
Facing History also has resources on the Armenian Genocide, which occurred 100 years ago this month. About 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered during the Ottoman Empirea historical period that the Turkish government refuses to characterize as a genocide.
A group of Jews are escorted at gunpoint from the Warsaw Ghetto by German soldiers in April, 1943.AP-File