Teacher Resources for Holocaust Education

 

Teaching about the Holocaust and genocide can seem daunting, especially when considering  the importance of having historically accurate information that fits the tone of the topic. The seriousness of the events combined with the emotional impact it can have on students makes the correct choice of resources even more important. We have compiled resources that can be used as general Holocaust teaching materials, as well a study guide and timeline of events relating to The Diary of Anne Frank.

 

Along with the links to resources below, educational videos have been selected by the JFGI Holocaust Education Coordinator that would best provide your students with concise and accurate information on Anne Frank, World War II and the Holocaust, and antisemitism. Some videos are suggested for an older audience and will be represented with GC to denote graphic content. However, when teaching about the Holocaust, it is important not to teach through a rose-colored lens.

 

This companion website will also continue to be updated with additional content in order to continue better serving Indiana teachers. We hope that you find these resources valuable and that they can assist in generating meaningful conversations in your classroom.

Embedded video and multimedia resources can be found on the Anne Frank: A Brief Life, A Lasting LegacyNazi Germany and the Holocaustand Antisemitism webpages respectively. Click on the photos below to access the webpages.

Anne Frank: A Brief Life, A Lasting Legacy

Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

Antisemitism

General Resources

 

If you feel like you need to better orient yourself on how to teach about the Holocaust, here are some general resources to explore before jumping into the specific topics listed below:

Resources for Educators (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
Meeting Hate with Humanity: Life During the Holocaust (Museum of Jewish Heritage)
Teaching Holocaust and Human Behavior (Facing History and Ourselves)
Preparing to Teach the Holocaust (Echoes and Reflections)
Educator Resource: Lesson Plans (Echoes and Reflections)
Lesson Plans (Yad Vashem)

Introductory Resources
 

Historical Context: World War II and the Holocaust


Essential Question:  What are the historical events that led to the rise of the Nazis and the Holocaust taking place as part of the global conflict of World War II? 


What is the Holocaust? (Yad Vashem)
Introduction to the Holocaust (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
The Holocaust: Bearing Witness (Facing History and Ourselves)
The Rise of the Nazi Party (Facing History and Ourselves)
Understanding the Nuremberg Laws (iWitness)
Timeline of the Holocaust (Echoes and Reflections)
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust: Amsterdam, Westerbork, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

 

Antisemitism


Essential Questions: What is antisemitism and why is it often referred to as “the longest hatred”?  What expressions of antisemitism did Jews confront during the Holocaust?  


History of Antisemitism and the Holocaust (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
Teaching About Antisemitism (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
The Roots and Impact of Antisemitism (Facing History and Ourselves)
Lesson Plans (Anti-Defamation League)


Cultural Context


Essential Questions: What are some specific expressions of Judaism and what do they symbolize? What terms might I encounter that are specific to the cultural context of Judaism and how can familiarizing myself with them help me better understand pre-war Jewish life?


European Jewish Life Before World War II (Facing History and Ourselves)
Introduction to Judaism (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
Remembering Jewish Observance Before the War (iWitness)
Three Minutes in Poland (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

 

Who Was Anne Frank?


Essential Question:  What led Anne Frank’s story to become one of the iconic narratives of European Jewish experience during World War II? 
 

• Anne Frank: The Timeline (Anne Frank House)
• PDF of Anne Frank: A History for Today Exhibition (Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect)
• Anne Frank: The Diary (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
• Study Guide to the Broadway Play The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect)
• Reader's Companion to Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect)

Personal Reflections and Contemporary Connections


Identity


Essential Questions: How does wrestling with one's identity highlight various ways in which identity is formed, including family, religion, nationality, society, and self-concept? What are the various elements that have influenced your identity and how you express who you are to others?

How did the Nazis work to strip away identity and dehumanize Jews and other minorities? What impact did this process have? What examples of dehumanization and stripping of identities can be found in today’s society?  


Defining the Other, Defining the Self (iWitness)
Identity in a Modern World (Facing History and Ourselves)


Stereotyping


Essential Questions: During the Holocaust stereotyping and scapegoating against Jews in the form of antisemitism led to Nazi atrocities and their formulation of the “Final Solution.” How do experiences of scapegoating and stereotyping during the Holocaust compare with expressions of scapegoating and stereotyping found in today’s society?

Today, Jews still face antisemitism and are victims of negative stereotypes.  What can communities do to address the ongoing spread of antisemitism? 


My Story Matters: Othering and Hate (iWitness)
Faces of Intolerance (iWitness)
Identity and Choices (Facing History and Ourselves)
Toolbox Against Discrimination (Stories That Move)


Capturing Stories and Voices


Essential Questions: Memoirs such as The Diary of Anne Frank and Night capture a single story from the Holocaust in a very powerful and personal manner. What other stories from the Holocaust have you heard and what aspects of those stories have you found to be most powerful? How has the manner in which these stories were captured and later shared impacted our contemporary understanding of the Holocaust?  


Salvaged Pages (Facing History and Ourselves)
My Story Matters: Power of Story (iWitness)
Teaching Holocaust History Using Survivor Testimony (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
The Children of the Holocaust: I Never Saw Another Butterfly (Jewish Learning Matters)
Nazi Deception and Propoganda: Theresienstadt (iWitness)
Teaching the Holocaust Through Poetry and Children's Diaries (Yad Vashem)


Refugees


Essential Questions: Thousands of Jewish families were forced to flee Germany due to the enactment of laws that persecuted Jews. What types of struggles did they face as refugees in their new countries? How do their experiences as refugees relate to struggles faced by other refugees today? 

What are some contemporary conflicts that are forcing people to flee their homes and become refugees? What are ways that organizations are helping refugees with the struggles they face? 


The Refugee Experience (iWitness)
Responding to a Refugee Crisis (Facing History and Ourselves)
Teaching About Refugees (UNHCR)
Refugee Stories: Mapping a Crisis (Brown University)

Please visit our School Resources page for information on resources that the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (JFGI), the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), and other local Jewish organizations can provide regarding the Holocaust, antisemitism, Israel, Jewish history, contemporary Judaism, and more.