Reflect and Respond
Either in class or as homework, have students reflect and respond to one or more of the topics below or have them develop a topic that has meaning for them based on the material covered in the lesson.
- What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you hear reference to “the Holocaust”? What do you know about this event and how have you learned your information? Discuss your thoughts on the importance of studying the Holocaust.
- In his testimony, Kurt Messerschmidt talks about helping the cigar shop owner pick up pieces of glass from the street. He says that he was sure some of the people disapproved of what was happening that night, but their disapproval was only silence. Why do you think that people are often unwilling to speak out when they see something wrong happening? What are the dangers of being silent in the face of injustice?
- Kurt Messerschmidt’s testimony about his experience during the Kristallnacht Pogrom is filled with rich detail and sensory images, and yet is very compact. Describe a particularly important experience from your life, crafting the memory in a narrative with a clear beginning, middle, and end, vivid details, and a sense of place.