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Resource Overview

Pedagogy for Instruction

Lesson Plans

Self-Directed Activities

Timeline of the Holocaust

Audio Glossary


Schindler's List

Classroom Poster Series

We Share The Same Sky Companion Resource

TEACH

LESSON PLAN
EDUCATOR RESOURCE: LESSON PLANS
Our Lesson Plans provide a unique experience for educators to teach about the Holocaust effectively and interactively. Lessons are organized by topics that represent major themes associated with the Holocaust in an order that is roughly chronological; the modular design of the Lessons allows for adaption and customization to specific grade levels and subject areas. The integration of rich content in each Lesson helps students construct an authentic and comprehensive portrait of the past as they frame their own thoughts about what they are learning, resulting in a deeper level of interest and inquiry. Each lesson includes:
  • Step-by-step procedures
  • Estimated completion time
  • Resources labeled by icons        direct teachers to the piece of content named in the procedures
  • Print-ready pages as indicated by  are available as PDFs for download
For more information, questions or concerns please contact us.
PEDAGOGY PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE HOLOCAUST INSTRUCTION

PEDAGOGICAL PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE HOLOCAUST INSTRUCTION



December 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, which depicts the true story of Oskar Schindler—a man who saved the lives of more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. It was Spielberg’s experience making this film that inspired him to collect and preserve the testimonies of over 54,000 Holocaust survivors and witnesses, a pursuit which ultimately led to the creation of what is now USC Shoah Foundation.

In honor of Universal Pictures’ rerelease of Schindler’s List, Echoes & Reflections has created a short, classroom-ready Companion Resource, that will help educators to provide important historical background and context to the film, as well as explore powerful true stories of rescue, survival, and resilience with their students.

Additionally, the following videos, recorded at Yad Vashem, feature Schindler survivors who speak of the impact Oskar Schindler had on their lives.


EVA LAVI TESTIMONY
Eva Lavi was the youngest survivor from Schindler’s list. She was two years old when the war began.
WATCH
EVA LAVI TESTIMONY
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR
Nahum Manor met and fell in love with his wife, Genia, in Schindler’s factory. Watch him read a letter at Schindler’s gravesite, expressing what he meant to them.
WATCH
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR




Visit the IWitness page commemorating the 25th anniversary of Schindler’s List for numerous additional resources to support teaching with this film.

CLASSROOM POSTER SERIES
INSPIRING THE HUMAN STORY
Echoes & Reflections is excited to announce that our poster series: Inspiring the Human Story, is now available in PDF format, free of cost.

The posters feature the powerful words and experiences of Holocaust survivor and memoirist Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt, and Anne Frank rescuer, Miep Gies. Each poster promotes meaningful conversation and reflection in the classroom, whether in person or in a virtual setting, and inspires students with powerful human stories of the Holocaust that can continue to guide agency and action as a result of studying this topic.

To support you in these efforts, we have also compiled several suggested classroom activities from teachers in our network that may be of use and interest.



Please fill out the form below to access and download your PDF posters.

WE SHARE THE SAME SKY

USC Shoah Foundation’s first podcast, We Share The Same Sky, seeks to brings the past into present through a granddaughter’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s story of survival. We Share The Same Sky tells the two stories of these women—the grandmother, Hana, a refugee who remained one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and the granddaughter, Rachael, on a search to retrace her grandmother’s history.



A self-portrait of Rachael while she is living on a Danish farm that is owned by the granddaughter of Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2017

In order to enhance its classroom use, USC Shoah Foundation and Echoes & Reflections have created a Companion Educational Resource to support teachers as they introduce the podcast to their students. This document provides essential questions for students, as well as additional resources and content to help build context and framing for students’ understanding of the historical events addressed in the podcast.

Access to the podcast, as well as additional supporting materials—including IWitness student activities, academic standards alignment, and general strategies for teaching with podcasts—can all be found at the We Share The Same Sky page in IWitness.

Note: Due to the subject nature, the podcast is appropriate for older students, grades 10-12. As always, teachers should review the content fully in advance to determine its appropriateness for their student population.



After many years of research and digitizing the archive her grandmother left behind, Rachael set out to retrace her grandmother’s 17 years of statelessness. Her intention was to travel via the same modes of transportation and to live similar style lives as to what her grandmother did during the war and in the years after. That meant that when she got to Denmark, she moved to a farm. Rachael moved in with the granddaughter of her grandmother’s foster mother from World War II and traded her labor for room and board as Hana once did. This picture is from that first visit in the winter of 2015. Since this time, Rachael has spent many more months living on this farm. It is owned by Sine Christiansen and her family. Sine is the granddaughter of Jensine, one Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2015


A self portrait of Rachael overlooking the exact spot in Southern Sweden where her grandmother’s refugee boat came to shore in 1943. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2016
LIBERATION
WE ARE FREE, BUT HOW WILL WE LIVE OUR LIVES WITHOUT OUR FAMILIES?

–ANTON MASON, JEWISH SURVIVOR

PREPARING TO TEACH THIS UNIT  

Below is information to keep in mind when teaching the content in this unit. This material is intended to help teachers consider the complexities of teaching about survivors and liberators and to deliver accurate and sensitive instruction.

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  • On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender became official, and Europe was liberated from Nazi rule. The offensives that ultimately defeated the German forces began on the Eastern Front in March 1944 and on the Western Front with D-Day in June 1944; these offensives lasted about one year. As the war was nearing its end, Europe was in complete chaos. Many cities, towns, and villages had been destroyed completely or in part. Multitudes had fled in the face of the fighting, including when possible, those persecuted by the Germans and their collaborators.

  • At the end of World War II, Allied troops moving across Europe encountered forced labor camps, concentration camps, extermination camps, and mass graves. Most knew little or nothing about these camps until they came upon them. While liberation of the camps was not the primary objective of the Allies, troops did free prisoners, provided food and medical care when possible, and collected evidence for war crimes trials.

  • Upon liberation, Allied troops began to understand that the Nazis had committed atrocities against civilians on an unimaginable scale and that these atrocities were very different from deaths caused by conventional warfare. A new category of crime had to be recognized to describe the intentional attempt to destroy a people. The United Nations would recognize the term “genocide” in 1948 and declare it an international crime. In 1945, soldiers were the very first witnesses to the unprecedented case of genocide that would become known as the “Holocaust.” Liberator testimonies and eyewitness accounts were critically important in making the world aware of what had happened and defending against attempts at denial and distortion. Their encounters with survivors give us an essential and human perspective on the difference between military war and genocide.

  • The Allies did not anticipate the enormity of the human challenge that liberation would pose. Essentially the Soviet forces liberated camp inmates and after some initial aid, left them on their own. Over time, the Western Allies set up agencies and a system of displaced persons’ camps (DP camps) in which liberated prisoners and the multitudes of displaced people—those who had lost their homes and become refugees—were given shelter and were helped. Due to extreme illness and deprivation, ongoing antisemitic violence, barriers to immigration and repatriation, and other factors, more than 250,000 Jewish displaced persons lived in camps and other facilities from 1945-1952.

  • The personal condition of most Holocaust survivors was appalling after all they had endured. Individuals were in need of physical and emotional rehabilitation. It was only after they became stronger that they began to confront the loss of their families and former lives, and began thinking about how to build new lives. This entailed many decisions about where to go and what to do. A primary concern was to find surviving family members. On their own or with the help of organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), they embarked on their searches. Along with the occupation authorities, these organizations also sought to aid them on a daily basis and to ensure their physical well-being. A common tendency among survivors was that many married and soon thereafter had children. The remnants of European Jewry—hundreds of thousands of broken men and women who had been uprooted from their homes and their former lives—began the long and difficult process of rehabilitating themselves and rebuilding their lives. The period following liberation is often referred to as “Return to Life” or “Returning to Life.”


Close -
ABOUT THIS UNIT
Introduction

The purpose of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of the immense physical and emotional challenges faced by survivors during the period of liberation. The lessons explore these realities and the incredible will to live of the Jewish people as they embraced a “return to life.” The unit also examines the role of the liberators following the defeat of the Nazis at the end of World War II.

Essential Questions:
  • Why was liberation not simply a “happy ending to a sad story”?
  • What did it mean for Jewish survivors to “return to life” after the Holocaust?
  • How was liberation an ongoing process for the survivors rather than a short-term event?
  • In the aftermath of liberation, how did the world community come to understand and define genocide?
Objectives
  • Describe the complex emotional ramifications of liberation for Jews.

  • Describe the responses Allied soldiers had to liberating concentration camps, and the ways in which they acted as witnesses to genocide.

  • Identify the difficulties and immediate needs of survivors after liberation.

  • Investigate the purpose of displaced persons’ camps and what life was like for people living in these camps.

  • Explore how antisemitism in Europe after WWII impeded the efforts of Jewish people to rebuild their lives.

  • Discuss the perspectives of U.S. liberators who fought for freedom abroad and experienced discrimination at home.

  • Interpret visual history testimony and other primary source materials to deepen their understanding of the experiences of survivors and liberators.




  VIDEO TOOLBOX


ACADEMIC STANDARDS
The materials in this unit address many Common Core State Standards
View More »

  TESTIMONY VIDEO GUIDE
View More »

  ASSET RESOURCE GUIDE
View More »

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Testimony Reflections View More »


  ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

60 minutes

LESSON PLAN:

Liberation of the Nazi Camps


Introduction  

In this lesson, students examine the eyewitness accounts of liberators and explore their critical role in making the world aware of Nazi atrocities. They analyze a letter written by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in which he bears witness to the brutality. Students also view visual history testimony of Black and Japanese American liberators, and reflect on their experiences in the context of the segregation and racism they faced at home.

PART 1: WHAT SHOCKING REALITIES DID THE LIBERATION OF NAZI CAMPS REVEAL TO THE WORLD?
Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
 
1The handout Liberator Reflections is projected or distributed. As a class or in pairs, students read the quotes and discuss the following questions:  
  • What do the quotes tell you about the soldiers’ awareness of what had happened to the Jewish people?
  • Are you surprised that the soldiers had not been told about the concentration and death camps? Why?

  NOTE
View More »

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Liberator Reflections View More »
2Students watch the Video Toolbox, Liberators and Survivors: The First Moments, up to 5:15. After viewing, they journal and/or participate in a whole group discussion in response to some of the following questions:

  IWITNESS ACTIVITY
Information Quest: Howard Cwick
here »
  • The video notes that soldiers “stumbled onto camps, often accidentally.” Why do you think they were unaware of the existence of concentration and extermination camps?

  • How were the atrocities encountered by liberators different from the destruction caused by conventional warfare that they had experienced?

  • What new category of crime was eventually recognized to reflect what had happened to the Jewish people? How was this term different from any prior term to describe crimes of war?

  • What is the importance of the liberators’ firsthand, eyewitness accounts of Nazi mass atrocities?

  • What was your reaction to Leon Bass’ account of seeing the clothing of little children, but never seeing a child? What other elements of the liberators’ testimonies most affected you? Why?

  • What do you think it meant to Harry Mogan – a Jewish refugee from Nazi persecution himself – to be a part of the liberation of Jewish survivors? What different emotions do you think he might have experienced?


3The following handout is distributed: Letter from Eisenhower to Marshall, April 15, 1945. Individually or in pairs, students analyze the excerpt, annotating it in response to the question, “What was the importance of liberators as eyewitnesses?” One or more of the “Think about It” questions are assigned for students to respond to via discussion or writing. The class then gathers to consider these questions and share insights gained from the reading.  

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Letter from Eisenhower to Marshall, April 15, 1945 View More »

  NOTE
View More »
PART 2: WHAT WERE THE EXPERIENCES OF BLACK AND JAPANESE LIBERATORS?
Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
 
4Students watch testimony clips of Black and Japanese American liberators and consider their experiences in the context of the discrimination they faced at home and in the armed forces: [L]Paul Parks[/L], [L]Leon Bass[/L], and [L]Katsugo Miho[/L]. As they watch the clips, students take notes on the Testimony Reflections handout.  
  PAUL PARKS
  LEON BASS
  KATSUGO MIHO

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Testimony Reflections View More »

  NOTE
View More »

  NOTE
View More »
5After viewing the testimony clips, students journal and/or participate in a whole group discussion in response to some of the following questions:  
EXPERIENCES OF LIBERATION
  • Leon describes an interaction with an emaciated survivor as follows: “He looked up at me, and he said nothing, nor did I.” Why do you think the two men were silent in this moment?
  • What do you think was going through the mind of the survivor who “hit the ground and prayed” when he learned that Paul Parks was American?
  • What might have been going through Paul’s mind in that moment?
    What was your reaction to Katsugo Miho’s memory of the individual who died at the moment of liberation?
  • What other images or descriptions most stand out from these liberators’ accounts? Why do they stay with you?
EXPERIENCES OF DISCRIMINATION
  • How did Leon feel initially about fighting in WWII? What inner conflict did he experience?
  • How do you think the anger Leon carried with him throughout his years as a soldier affected him?
  • What was Katsugo’s reaction to being called a “Jap”? Why didn’t he blame the white soldiers for using such slurs?
  • How did the Japanese American soldiers stand up against bigotry at the PX (military store)? How did this impact the feeling in their unit?
EXPERIENCES OF CONNECTION AND TRANSFORMATION
  • How do you interpret Paul’s comment, “I guess I’m fighting for the right to fight when I get back home”?
  • How did Leon’s anger transform as a result of his time at Buchenwald? How did the experience change him?
  • What connection did Paul, Leon, and Katsugo feel with the survivors that may have been different from what most white liberators were feeling?
EXPERIENCES OF LIBERATION
  • Leon describes an interaction with an emaciated survivor as follows: “He looked up at me, and he said nothing, nor did I.” Why do you think the two men were silent in this moment?
  • What do you think was going through the mind of the survivor who “hit the ground and prayed” when he learned that Paul Parks was American?
  • What might have been going through Paul’s mind in that moment?
    What was your reaction to Katsugo Miho’s memory of the individual who died at the moment of liberation?
  • What other images or descriptions most stand out from these liberators’ accounts? Why do they stay with you?
EXPERIENCES OF DISCRIMINATION
  • How did Leon feel initially about fighting in WWII? What inner conflict did he experience?
  • How do you think the anger Leon carried with him throughout his years as a soldier affected him?
  • What was Katsugo’s reaction to being called a “Jap”? Why didn’t he blame the white soldiers for using such slurs?
  • How did the Japanese American soldiers stand up against bigotry at the PX (military store)? How did this impact the feeling in their unit?
EXPERIENCES OF CONNECTION AND TRANSFORMATION
  • How do you interpret Paul’s comment, “I guess I’m fighting for the right to fight when I get back home”?
  • How did Leon’s anger transform as a result of his time at Buchenwald? How did the experience change him?
  • What connection did Paul, Leon, and Katsugo feel with the survivors that may have been different from what most white liberators were feeling?
6As a summative task, students imagine they are one of the politicians or journalists sent to witness the liberated camps at the urging of Eisenhower. They create a list of 3-5 observations that they would include in a report or article for the American public. The list should contain not just physical conditions, but also key understandings about what took place.


  ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

135 minutes

LESSON PLAN:

Holocaust Survivors Return to Life


Introduction  

In this lesson, students examine testimony, artifacts, and letters in order to understand the extreme physical and emotional challenges survivors struggled with after liberation. They also analyze works of poetry and art in order to appreciate the will of the Jewish people to live and their gradual “return to life.”

PART 1: WHAT CHALLENGES DID HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS FACE UPON LIBERATION?
Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
 
1As a class, students explore the sources below highlighting the dire physical condition of survivors. They discuss the basic health needs of survivors in the immediate aftermath of liberation:
  • Video testimony of [L]Charlotte Chaney[/L], a 23-year-old American nurse assigned to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany shortly after its liberation in April 1945
  • Written testimony of Haim Kuznitsky after Liberation (see handout), who reflects on his weakened physical state after surviving a death march and being liberated near the Neustadt-Glewe concentration camp in Germany
  Charlotte Chaney

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Haim Kuznitsky after Liberation View More »
2Students form small groups and learn that they will examine an artifact that was meaningful to a survivor like Haim Kuznitsky during the period of liberation. The Artifact Analysis handout is distributed and the instructions are reviewed. The Artifacts Related to Liberation handout is then distributed and students immediately fold it back so they can only see the images and not the text. Groups choose one artifact to observe and complete the See-Think-Wonder analysis, followed by a group discussion. The class gathers to discuss their reactions and insights.

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Artifact Analysis View More »

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Artifacts Related to Liberation View More »
3In pairs, students consider the following question: In addition to the physical challenges faced by survivors after liberation, what spiritual or emotional challenges do you think they experienced? As a class, students share their thoughts and reflect on the ways in which spiritual wounds were as devastating as physical ones
4Students remain in their pairs and are assigned one or more excerpts to read from the handout First Letters After Liberation. Students annotate the letters by highlighting and recording margin notes on the emotional challenges faced by each survivor. As a class, students discuss their insights and reflect on the overwhelming hardships survivors had to cope with as they faced their future lives.

  STUDENT HANDOUT
First Letters After Liberation View More »
PART 2: HOW DID HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS BEGIN A “RETURN TO LIFE”?
Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
 
5The handout Survivors’ Return to Life is distributed and students read the introduction together. Students take notes on the handout as they view the testimonies of survivors who reflect on their experiences immediately after liberation: [L]Anton Mason[/L], [L]Gerda Klein[/L], and [L]David Abrams[/L].

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Survivors’ Return to Life View More »
  ANTON MASON
  Gerda Klein
  DAVID ABRAMS
6After viewing the testimony clips, students journal and/or participate in a whole group discussion in response to some of the following questions:
  • What do the survivors’ expressions, tone, and body language reveal about how they felt upon liberation? How did their stories make you feel?

  • What signs of “return to life” most stood out to you? What factors helped survivors to choose life?

  • How did the liberators help to “restore humanity” (in Gerda Klein’s words) in the survivors?

  • Why did David Abrams refuse to ride in the “welcome wagon” back to his town? How does his choice demonstrate a “return to life”?

  • What was your reaction to Gerda’s liberator revealing that he was also Jewish? What feelings might each of them have experienced in that moment?

  • How do you interpret Anton Mason’s assertion, “We felt that as long as one is alive, they lost”?

  • Gerda says she couldn’t “absorb the wonder of freedom” and Anton comments, “We are free, but how will we live without our families?” What helped them begin to feel free again after so many hardships?


7Students continue to reflect on the idea of “return to life” by analyzing one of the works of art below. Individually, they choose one piece to think about and engage in a brief written reflection on how the piece symbolizes survivors’ “return to life.” Students then form pairs in which one has focused on the poem and the other on the painting. They share a summary of each work’s meaning and their interpretation of how it relates to “return to life.” As a class, students discuss the artists’ hope and decision to choose life as they coped with the horrors of the Holocaust.
  • Poem: “My Life Started from the End” by Halina Birenbaum
  • Painting: Children Alone by Samuel Bak

  STUDENT HANDOUT
My Life Started from the End View More »

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Children Alone View More »


  IWITNESS ACTIVITY
New Beginnings - Journey to America
here »
8As a summative task, students respond to the final passage from Night by Elie Wiesel. Drawing upon lesson sources, they consider and identify several ways in which that “corpse” might have been able to feel human again, to envision a “return to life.”
    “Three days after the liberation of Buchenwald, I became very ill… One day when I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.”


      ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

    90 minutes

    LESSON PLAN:

    Displaced Persons’ Camps After the Holocaust


    Introduction  

    Through texts and visual testimony, students investigate how postwar antisemitism, barriers to repatriation, and difficult conditions in DP camps rendered many Jewish people “liberated but not free.” Students also analyze testimony and images from DP camps to understand the choices Jewish people made to rebuild their lives despite all they had suffered and lost.

    PART 1: FOLLOWING LIBERATION, WHAT OBSTACLES TO TRUE FREEDOM DID HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS ENCOUNTER?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    1The phrase, “liberated but not free” is posted. In pairs, students discuss the meaning of this phrase as it relates to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. They create a concept map or simple list of ways in which they think survivors were not truly free in the aftermath of liberation. Pairs share their ideas with the class.
    2Students consider that one obstacle to freedom following liberation was the continuation of widespread antisemitism. They view the testimonies of individuals who discuss the 1946 Kielce Pogrom, which resulted in the murder of 42 Jews in Poland: [L]Rachel Huber[/L] and [L]Malwina Moses[/L]. As they watch the clips, students take notes on the Testimony Reflections handout.  pin1
      Rachel Huber
      Malwina Moses

      NOTE
    View More »
    3After viewing the testimony clips, students journal and/or participate in a whole group discussion in response to some of the following questions:
    • What is a pogrom? Why were Jewish people targeted by pogroms after World War II (as they had been before the war)?

    • Why was the Kielce Pogrom a “terrible shock” to Rachel Huber and the others with her on the wagon?

    • What was the reaction among many Poles to Jewish survivors who returned home?

    • Why did Malwina Moses’ family live in a big city after the war rather than their hometown?

    • What feelings do Rachel and Malwina express about facing violence in their birth countries after surviving the Holocaust?

    • Did Jewish people have a home to return to after the war? Explain.


    PART 2: HOW DID JEWISH SURVIVORS BEGIN TO REBUILD THEIR LIVES IN DISPLACED PERSONS’ CAMPS?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    4In pairs or small groups, students read the Displaced Persons handout and answer the accompanying questions. They review their responses as a whole group. The class discusses how factors including postwar antisemitism, barriers to immigration and repatriation, and difficult conditions in DP camps contributed to the feeling of “liberated but not free” for many Jewish survivors.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Displaced Persons View More »

      IWITNESS ACTIVITY
    Understanding Displaced Persons' Camps
    here »
    5Students view testimony of Jewish survivors who experienced displaced persons’ camps: [L]Malka Baran[/L] and [L]Daniel Geslewitz[/L]. As they watch the clips, students take notes on the Testimony Reflections handout, focusing especially on actions and feelings that demonstrate a “return to life” despite the hardships of the DP camps.  pin1
      Malka Baran
      Daniel Geslewitz

      NOTE
    View More »
    6After viewing the testimony clips, students journal and/or participate in a whole group discussion in response to some of the following questions:
    • What does Malka Baran say “brought her back” and returned her to “normal life”?

    • What stood out to you about Malka’s work with children? What feeling did you get hearing her description?

    • Why do you think so many weddings took place and new families formed in such difficult conditions?

    • Daniel Geslewitz says, “We felt like human beings again” and Malka says, “It was a wonderful period.” What do you think most contributed to this “return to life”?

    • How was the atmosphere in the DP camps, as described by Malka and Daniel, different from what you had imagined?


    7The Displaced Persons’ Camp Images are placed at different stations or displayed in different parts of the room. A sheet of chart paper with the questions below is positioned next to each. In small groups, students rotate and observe at least four images. They add their ideas to the corresponding charts. pin1
      what part of life does the image reflect (e.g. culture, community,education, family, leisure, etc.) How does the image reflect a “return to life”? What details do you notice? What questions do you have after viewing the image?

        NOTE
      View More »

        STUDENT HANDOUT
      Displaced Persons' Camp Images View More »
      8Students take a “gallery walk” and review the image reflections noted by their peers. The class then gathers and the handout DP Camp Images – Explanation is either distributed or projected. Students review the handout and discuss the questions below, as well as their general insights in response to the activity.
        • How do the images demonstrate a “return to life”?
        • What choices did survivors make to rebuild their lives?

          STUDENT HANDOUT
        DP Camp Images – Explanation View More »
        9As a summative task, students choose one of the characteristics from the list below and identify a person or image from the lesson that most reflects the characteristic. On an index card, students describe their reasoning, using evidence from lesson sources. In pairs, students share their reflections. As time allows, students form new pairs and continue sharing. The index cards can be collected to check for understanding of lesson concepts.
          • Resilience – ability to recover from difficulties
          • Renewal – beginning again, repairing something that is broken
          • Determination – focused or purposeful in getting something done
          • Hope – positive feeling that a desire will be fulfilled
          MAKING CONNECTIONS  

          The ideas below are offered as ways to extend the lessons in this unit and make connections to related historical events, current issues, and students’ own experiences. These topics can be integrated directly into Echoes & Reflections lessons, used as stand-alone teaching ideas, or investigated by students engaged in project-based learning.

          View More +
          1Visit IWitness (iwitness.usc.edu) for testimonies, resources, and activities to help students learn more about survivors and liberators during the Holocaust.
          2After visiting the liberated concentration camp in Ohrdruf, Germany, General Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatched a letter to Washington, D.C. urging journalists to witness the atrocities for themselves. CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow visited Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945 and was among the first to provide a firsthand account. Watch a clip of Murrow’s broadcast or read an excerpt of his testimony. Then respond to Murrow’s concluding comments (below) in a small group discussion or journal entry.
            “I pray you to believe what I have said about Buchenwald. I have reported what I saw and heard, but only part of it. For most of it I have no words…If I have offended you by this rather mild account of Buchenwald, I am not in the least sorry.”
              3Postwar antisemitism in Europe was a barrier to Jewish people wishing to return to their home countries and rebuild their lives. Jewish people in the United States faced antisemitism during this period as well. Read or watch one of the works below and write an essay in which you describe how antisemitism was exhibited in the story, how it impacted the protagonists, and what the story helped you to understand about postwar antisemitism in the U.S.
                • Focus by Arthur Miller: In this 1945 novel, a Brooklyn man’s eyes are opened to the problem of antisemitism when he gets a pair of glasses that causes others to perceive him as Jewish. (There is also a 2001 film version.)
                • Gentleman’s Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson: This 1947 novel and film follows a journalist who poses as a Jew to research the widespread distrust and dislike of Jews in New York City and nearby communities.
                4The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides protection and life-saving assistance to millions of people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war and persecution. When possible, UNHCR helps refugees and other displaced people return to their homes. Research the UNHCR and share your findings in a presentation format of your choice (oral, written, multimedia). Answer the following questions in your presentation:
                  • When and why was the UNHCR created?
                  • On what continents has UNHCR worked over the years?
                  • What does UNHCR do to assist refugees and internally displaced persons?
                  • What challenges does the UNHCR face as it works?
                  • In what countries is the UNHCR currently operating and why?
                  • Identify one country where the UNHCR is currently operating. Explain the situation and how UNHCR is assisting.
                  KEY WORDS
                  Allies
                  antisemitism
                  Auschwitz-Birkenau  
                  Bergen-Belsen
                  Buchenwald  
                  concentration camp
                  crematoria
                  Dachau  
                  death march
                  deportation
                  displaced persons' camp (DP camp)
                  extermination camp
                  genocide
                  Holocaust
                  liberation
                  Nazi
                  Persecution
                  pogrom
                  propaganda
                  refugee
                  "Return to Life"
                  survivor
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