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Lesson 1: Studying The Holocaust

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to discuss the value and importance of studying human catastrophes, in general, and the Holocaust, in particular. The lesson also provides an opportunity for students to consider the importance of examining both primary and secondary source materials when studying historical events and to begin to develop a common vocabulary for studying the Holocaust and other genocides.

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Lesson 2: Antisemitism

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn about the origins of antisemitism. Students will also learn about prewar Jewish life in Germany and antisemitism in Nazi ideology and its similarities and differences from pre-Nazi antisemitism. Students will also examine propaganda methods that were used to exploit antisemitic attitudes among the German people and to create an atmosphere of terror.

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Lesson 3: Nazi Germany

The purpose of this lesson is for students to learn about the Weimar Republic’s fragile democracy between 1918 and 1933 and to examine historical events that allowed for the complete breakdown of democracy in Germany between 1933 and 1939, which led to the unfolding of anti-Jewish policies. Students will also investigate primary source materials in order to understand how legislation, terror, and propaganda isolated German Jewry from German society. Students also have an opportunity to consider the role and responsibility of the individual in interrupting hate and the escalation of violence.

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Lesson 4: The Ghettos

This lesson provides students with an opportunity to learn about the ghettos established throughout Nazi Europe and understand that the ghettos were one phase in the continuum of Nazi racial policies that sought to solve the so-called “Jewish problem.” Students will also learn about the conditions in most ghettos and how those conditions severely limited Jewish life and led to feelings of humiliation and loss of dignity. Using several primary sources, students will have an opportunity to learn that despite severe overcrowding, starvation, diseases, and grief, Jews still did their utmost to conduct their lives and retain their human dignity.

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Lesson 5: The "Final Solution"

The purpose of this lesson is for students to learn about one of humanity’s darkest chapters—the systematic mass murder of the Jews that came to be known as the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” This includes learning about the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads), the Nazi extermination camps, and the perpetrators and collaborators who took part in the murder. This lesson also provides an opportunity for students to learn how Jews attempted to maintain their humanity in the camps despite the inhumane conditions and brutal treatment they faced.

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Lesson 6: Jewish Resistance

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to explore Jewish resistance efforts during the Holocaust― focusing on the period from the establishment of the ghettos through the implementation of the “Final Solution.” An opportunity is provided for students to learn about the risks of resisting Nazi domination and the means, scope, and intensity of resistance efforts. These ranged from cultural and spiritual resistance in the ghettos to armed resistance of partisans and ghetto and camp prisoners. At their core, these forms of resistance are expressions of the capacity to preserve what is best in humanity in the face of the worst humanity has to offer. This lesson also provides an opportunity for students to consider the role of personal and cultural identity in their lives.

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Lesson 7: Rescuers and Non-Jewish Resistance

This lesson provides students with an opportunity to learn about the types of rescue that occurred in Nazi-occupied Europe and to consider the moral and ethical choices that non-Jews made in order to help Jews survive. The lesson also outlines the obstacles and dangers that hidden children faced during the Holocaust. Throughout the lesson, students have an opportunity to consider the price of apathy and indifference in the face of injustice.

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Lesson 8: Survivors and Liberators

The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with an understanding of the political, legal, social, and emotional status of the Jewish survivors. This lesson also examines the role of the liberators following the defeat of the Nazis at the end of World War II.

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Lesson 9: Perpetrators, Collaborators, and Bystanders

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to examine the complex issues of responsibility and guilt within the context of the Nazi occupation of Europe. Students will also learn about the war crimes trials following World War II and consider the responsibility of the free world to provide a safe haven for refugees attempting to escape Europe. This lesson also provides students with an introduction to Holocaust denial as a contemporary form of antisemitism.

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Lesson 10: The Children

The purpose of this lesson is for students to understand the effects of the Holocaust on its most innocent victims—children—since targeting babies and children was an important step in the attempt by the Nazis to erase the Jews and their future. Students will also research post-Holocaust genocides and analyze children’s rights violations. In addition, students are provided an opportunity to develop a position on whether an event the magnitude of the Holocaust could happen again and to consider the role and responsibility of the individual in seeing that it does not.

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Supplementary Content: Contemporary Antisemitism

The purpose of this lesson is to provide an opportunity for students to understand that antisemitism did not end after the Holocaust. Students will learn about the persistence of antisemitism worldwide and analyze the different types of contemporary antisemitism, including classical to newer forms of antisemitism as well as new forms based on old ideas. In addition, students will be introduced to individuals who refuse to be bystanders to antisemitism as they consider the responsibility of all members of society to respond to and prevent antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.



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