- 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 (each 24’x 36’), feature the words and experiences of Holocaust survivor and memoirist Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt, and Anne Frank rescuer, Miep Gies. Each promotes meaningful conversation and reflection in the classroom and inspires students with powerful human stories of the Holocaust that can continue to guide and inform their steps forward.
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.
Order your set today at no cost!
Please note: In order to reach the maximum number of teachers with this limited opportunity, we are only able to provide one poster set per teacher. Additionally, we are only able to send poster sets to US addresses.
USC Shoah Foundation’s Podcast for the Middle and High School Classroom
We Share The Same Sky, USC Shoah Foundation’s first podcast, brings the past into our present through a granddaughter’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s story of survival.
In 2009, Rachael Cerrotti asked her grandmother a question: Will you tell me your story? Rachael was a college student and her grandmother, Hana, was 84 years old—the matriarch of one family and the sole survivor of another. For the following year, Rachael recorded the details of her grandmother’s childhood, her escape from war and her immigration to the United States. After Hana’s death in 2010, Rachael became entrenched in her grandmother’s story, digitizing Hana’s personal archive of diaries, photo albums, immigration papers and more. When the digitizing felt nearly complete, she went out to retrace the history. Along the way, Rachael fell so deep into her grandmother’s life that it became the foundation of her own.
We Share The Same Sky tells the two stories of these young women—Hana as a refugee who remains one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and Rachael on a search to retrace her grandmother’s history. The seven-part series explores how the retelling of family stories becomes history itself and how acts of kindness during war can echo across generations.
Listen to We Share The Same Sky on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and most podcast streaming services, as well as on the We Share The Same Sky page in IWitness.
To support its classroom use, USC Shoah Foundation and Echoes & Reflections have created a Companion Educational Resource to support teachers as they introduce the podcast with their students.
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.
- ARIE VAN MANSUM, RESCUE AND AID PROVIDER
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 rescuers and aid providers and to deliver accurate and sensitive instruction.
This unit 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 unit also outlines the obstacles and dangers that hidden children faced during the Holocaust. Throughout the unit, students have an opportunity to consider the price of apathy and indifference in the face of injustice.
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Rescuers and Aid Providers
|1||Write the word “altruism” on the board. Have students brainstorm the meaning of the term and record their responses. Help students consider the following key elements of altruism if they are not offered during the brainstorming session:|
|2||Introduce students to [L]Arie Van Mansum[/L] and [L]Leslie Banos[/L] and then show their testimonies. Follow with a discussion using the questions below.|
|3||On the board or on chart paper, draw a circle and put a “V” in the middle for “victim.” Ask students to identify victims of the Holocaust. Draw a larger circle around the first circle and put a “P” for “perpetrator.” Have students identify perpetrators during the Holocaust. Draw a third larger circle that intersects the first two and put a “B” for “bystander.” Ask students to identify bystanders during the Holocaust. Have students study the diagram and discuss what happens to a bystander when he or she makes the decision to no longer be a bystander but to help the victim (i.e., he or she now also becomes a victim as in the case of Arie Van Mansum).|
|4||Ask students if deciding to take this risk of becoming a victim yourself is an example of altruism. Allow time for them to share their thinking and also discuss the following questions:|
|5||Distribute the Those Who Dared to Rescue handout. As students read the handout, have them prepare a graphic organizer or make a list of the various forms of rescue by which non-Jews saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust.|
Those Who Dared to Rescue View More »
|6||Have a large-group discussion reviewing the forms of rescue discussed in the handout. Have students brainstorm the qualities that would motivate people to help others at the risk of their own lives and possibly the lives of their families and friends. Use some or all of the questions below to guide the discussion.|
|7||Distribute the Anne Frank’s Legacy handout, and read together as a class. Continue the earlier discussion about rescuers, using some or all of the questions below.|
Anne Frank's Legacy View More »
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ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Righteous Among the Nations
|1||To begin this lesson, introduce students to [L]Renee Scott[/L], show her clip of testimony, and discuss the following questions:|
|2||Give students an introduction to the phrase “Righteous Among the Nations.” Explain that in 1953, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) passed the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority Law, which created Yad Vashem (yadvashem.org). Yad Vashem received the mandate to identify and recognize non-Jews who had risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews in countries that had been under Nazi rule or that had collaborated with the German regime. The historical account of the Holocaust would not be complete without the amazing stories of the “Righteous Among the Nations.”|
|3||Tell students that a committee of judges discusses each and every person who is a candidate for becoming a “Righteous Among the Nations.” Ask students to think about what the main criteria for receiving this designation might be and list their answers on the board or chart paper. Distribute the Yad Vashem Criteria for “Righteous Among the Nations” handout and review together.|
Yad Vashem Criteria for "Righteous Among the Nations" View More »
|4||After reviewing the handout, allow time for students to share their observations about the material. If needed, use guiding questions like those below.|
Righteous Among the Nations
|5||Distribute the Rescue in Denmark handout. Direct the class to turn to the first page of the handout, and choose a volunteer to begin reading out loud. When the reader has finished reading the first paragraph, pause and ask the group:|
Rescue in Denmark View More »
After reading the second, third, and fourth paragraphs, pause and ask the group:
After reading the fifth and sixth paragraphs, ask the group:
After reading the seventh, eighth, and ninth paragraphs, ask the group:
|6||Close with a general discussion about why students think that some individuals and groups decided not to accept the bystander role during the Holocaust. Encourage them to reflect on ways that they and others that they know do and do not accept the role of bystanders in their school and communities.|
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Dilemmas of Hidden Children
|1||Begin this lesson by asking students to consider what it meant to hide during the Holocaust. Use the following questions to help guide the discussion:|
|2||Introduce students to [L]Kristine Keren[/L], [L]Ursula Levy[/L], and [L]Leslie Banos[/L]. After watching the testimonies of these individuals, discuss the following:|
View More »
|3||Have each student complete a “Minute Paper” assessment by responding to the question: What will you remember most from this lesson and why? Instruct students to submit their responses to you before leaving class or, if time permits, have students discuss how they responded to the question with a partner.|
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 the lessons in this unit or can be used to extend lessons once they have 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 rescuers and aid providers during the Holocaust.|
|2||Have half the class read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Anchor Books, 1996) and the other half of the class read Miep Gies’ Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family (Touchstone, 1988). Have students work in pairs or small groups to develop graphic organizers comparing and contrasting the experiences of Anne Frank and Miep Gies. Encourage students to refer to the Timeline to understand the events that they are reading about within a larger context.|
|3||Divide the class into pairs of students. Assign each pair one of the names on the Selected List of “Righteous Among the Nations” handout. Instruct students to research the individual or group and prepare a presentation for the class using one of the formats suggested below or another format of their choice. Among other resources, encourage students to access Yad Vashem’s database of the “Righteous Among the Nations” (yadvashem.org/righteous).|
|4||Share with students the brief introduction to the Kindertransport in the corresponding Note. After the introduction, have students work in small groups to generate a list of questions that they still have about this rescue effort. If needed, share a few sample questions with students: How old were the children? How were the children selected? Why did the transports stop in 1940? Where did the children go once they arrived in Great Britain?|
After groups have completed their list of questions, instruct them to organize the questions into sub-topics and then decide who will research the answers to each set of questions. Have students find the answers to the questions using multiple print and digital sources and develop a PowerPoint, written report, or multimedia report to present their findings. Share presentations on the class website or wiki. Students may want to listen to visual history testimonies available on IWitness (iwitness.usc.edu) or watch Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000) as part of their research.
|5||Using an online map creator (e.g., ZeeMap, Click2Map, StepMap), have students create their own interactive maps representing the material outlined on the Yad Vashem Criteria for “Righteous Among the Nations” handout. Maps should indicate those countries where individuals have been awarded this recognition as well as how many people/groups have been identified as “Righteous Among the Nations” per country.|
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