- 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
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
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR
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.
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.
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.
- H. HENRY SINASON, JEWISH SURVIVOR
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 antisemitism, Nazi racial ideology, and propaganda and to deliver accurate and sensitive instruction.
This unit 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.
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Prewar Jewish Life and Nazi Antisemitism
|1||Begin this lesson by showing students the map Jewish Communities in Europe before the Nazis Rise to Power. Provide time for students to share their observations and to consider the importance of demographic data when studying historical events; how can such data help us address questions or be integrated into a coherent understanding of an event?|
JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN EUROPE BEFORE THE NAZIS RISE TO POWER
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|2||Direct students’ attention to Germany and note the Jewish population as well as the percentage of the total population that Jews represented. Ask students if they have any knowledge regarding Jewish life in Germany prior to the Holocaust and if so, what they have learned. Follow by asking students to consider what life might have been like for Jews in Germany prior to Hitler’s rise to power.|
|3||Tell students that they will now hear from individuals who experienced life in Germany prior to the rise of the Nazi Party. Introduce students to [L]John Graham[/L], [L]H. Henry Sinason[/L], and [L]Margaret Lambert[/L], and show the three clips of testimony.|
H. HENRY SINASON
|4||After students have listened to the testimony, ask them if they heard anything in the testimony that supported or differed from what they imagined life was like for Jews in Germany before 1933. Additional questions for discussion might include:|
|5||Before showing the next clips of testimony, ask students if they are familiar with the terms “stereotype” and “antisemitism” and to share their understanding of what the terms mean. Continue by asking them if based on what they know or have heard about the Holocaust, whether the attitudes and actions against Jews and the laws legislated against them in Nazi Germany were a new phenomenon or part of a continuum of antisemitism throughout history.|
|6||Tell students that they will now be introduced to [L]H. Henry Sinason[/L], [L]Henry Laurant[/L], and [L]Judith Becker[/L] and watch their testimonies. Follow with a discussion using the questions below.|
|7||Review important information about stereotypes with students: A stereotype is an oversimplified generalization about a person or group of people without regard for individual differences. Even seemingly positive stereotypes that link a person or group to a specific positive trait (e.g., Asian Americans are good in math) can have negative consequences because they ignore an individual’s interests and abilities. While all stereotypes are hurtful because they group people into one category, some stereotypes are particularly dangerous because they express very negative things about a group of people (e.g., violent, greedy). Such stereotypes perpetuate hateful attitudes and hurt individuals and entire communities. There is also the danger that targets of such stereotypes may begin to believe they are true.|
|8||Elicit from students examples of how a group to which they belong is stereotyped. Have students discuss why they think people believe and perpetuate stereotypes and why stereotypes are dangerous.|
|9||Display or distribute the Definition of Antisemitism handout; read and discuss together.|
Antisemitism View More »
|10||Prepare students for reading the Summary of Antisemitism handout by reviewing key terms and phrases as necessary. Distribute the text and have students study it as a whole group, in small groups, or individually. Instruct students to identify and underline or highlight examples of stereotypes or accusations made against Jews in the selection.|
Summary of Antisemitism View More »
|11||After reading the handout, conduct a class discussion based on some or all of the questions below.|
|12||Ask students to consider whether antisemitism was only a problem of the past or if it remains an area of concern today. Have them support their thinking and, if possible, give contemporary examples of antisemitism at the local, national, or international level. Share with students that ADL (adl.org) identifies both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats, and slurs and compiles the information into annual reports. Updates and information about antisemitism—both nationally and internationally—are also posted regularly on the website.|
|13||Provide students with the Not in Our Town handout and review together. Follow with a discussion using some or all of the questions below.|
Not in Our Town View More »
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|14||Distribute a sticky note to each student. Have each student write a response to one of the following questions which have been posted on the board and “post” the response under the appropriate question prior to leaving class:|
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Nazi Antisemitic Ideology and Propaganda
|1||Begin this lesson by having students brainstorm the meaning of the word “ideology” and share what they think constitutes an ideology (e.g., a pattern of beliefs; a way of thinking; a system of ideas that organizes one’s goals, expectations, and actions).|
|2||Distribute the Nazi Ideology handout and have students individually, in pairs, or in small groups cite textual evidence to support their responses to the following questions:|
|3||Ask students to think about the term “propaganda” and share what they understand it to mean. [Optional: Have a volunteer read the definition of propaganda found in the Glossary.] Continue by having students post what they see as the distinction between “propaganda” and “ideology” (i.e., ideology is a system of ideas and principles on which a political or economic theory is based; propaganda is a tool or method used to disseminate such a system of ideas).|
|4||Introduce students to [L]H. Henry Sinason[/L] and [L]Esther Clifford[/L] and have students watch the two clips of testimonies. Follow with a discussion, using the questions below.|
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|5||On the board or on chart paper, write the heading “How does propaganda work?” and then write the following list:
|6||Have students suggest examples of propaganda that they have seen and explain which of the techniques listed above was/were used. They might want to consider advertisements, political campaigns, social movements, and so forth in their examples.|
|7||Continue the discussion about propaganda by asking the following:|
|8||Display and review together as a whole group some of the examples of Nazi propaganda. Have students consider some or all of the questions below, depending on which document they are analyzing.|
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NAZI PROPAGANDA: CHILDREN'S BOOK COVER
NAZI PROPAGANDA: CARICATURE OF A JEW WITH ARYAN CHILDREN
NAZI PROPAGANDA: WOMAN AND CHILDREN LOOKING AT CRUCIFIX
NAZI PROPAGANDA: SCHOOL CHILDREN AND NAZI IDEOLOGY
NAZI PROPAGANDA: COMPARISON OF JEW AND ARYAN
NAZI PROPAGANDA: NAZI PARADE, SEPTEMBER 1935
NAZI PROPAGANDA: BOYCOTT SIGN, 1933
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The Power of Propaganda
|9||After reviewing several examples, have a general discussion using the following questions:|
|10||Close the lesson by having students discuss specific examples of national and international events that demonstrate that antisemitism and propaganda are still part of contemporary society.|
The questions below, used in class or as homework, prompt students to reflect on what they are learning and its meaning in their own lives and in society.
These queries are excellent for journaling, allowing students to create their own primary source material. Keep in mind, the sensitive and emotional nature of the topics may preclude teacher evaluation. If journaling is used as an assessment tool, assure students that they will not be evaluated negatively for expressing opinions that may be different from others in class or from the teacher’s.
The additional activities and projects listed below can be integrated directly into a lesson or can be used to extend a lesson once it has been completed. The topics lend themselves to students’ continued study of the Holocaust as well as opportunities for students to make meaningful connections to other people and events, including relevant contemporary issues. These activities may include instructional strategies and techniques and/or address academic standards in addition to those that were identified for the unit.
|1||Visit IWitness (iwitness.usc.edu) for testimonies, resources, and activities to help students learn more about prewar Jewish life, propaganda, and antisemitism.|
|2||Assign students a research project that explores modern-day antisemitism and hate groups. The following questions can guide the research:|
|3||Divide the class in half. Provide time for groups to prepare an argument for debate. Have one group argue that the United States government should prohibit the activities of groups and individuals that promote hatred, as in Germany where the dissemination of racist and antisemitic material is illegal. Have the other group argue that the First Amendment must be upheld.|
|4||The antisemitic children’s book The Poisonous Mushroom (Der Giftpilz in German) was written by Ernst Hiemer and published by Julius Streicher who also published the antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer. Instruct students to gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources about how children’s books like The Poisonous Mushroom were used to promote Nazi ideology and prepare a PowerPoint or cloud-based presentation (e.g., Prezi), a written report, or decide on another format to present their work. Their presentations should include examples of children’s books published during the time period, information about how people responded to the books if possible, as well as their interpretations of the books and what they learned about propaganda from studying them.|
|5||Have students answer the following question in an explanatory text or in a multimedia presentation: At what point does political discourse become propaganda? To begin, students should identify specific examples of politicians attempting to sway voters to vote for them or to agree with them on a particular issue. This can be accomplished by listening to or reading speeches or transcripts from community forums made by national, state, or local politicians. This investigation should be followed by an argument for why the techniques do or do not fit the definition of propaganda. Which techniques, if any, are the same as those of propaganda? If they are different, how are they different? What safeguards, if any, are in place to prevent political discourse from becoming propaganda? The text or presentation should end with a concluding statement that answers the research question based on the evidence compiled.|
|6||Using online resources have students research and prepare a graphic that shows the Jewish experience in the United States at roughly the same time as the Nazis were coming to power in Germany. The graphic might include information on various regions of the country where Jews lived or the countries from which they emigrated. Include data about the attitude toward Jews based on polling data compiled at the time. Encourage students to consider the implications of their findings on whether the United States would intervene in the events that were to unfold in Europe.|
discriminationhate groupHitler Youth, Hitlerjugend
kosherKu Klux Klanmenorah