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Teaching Holocaust history requires a high level of sensitivity and keen awareness of the complexity of the subject matter. These guidelines reflect approaches appropriate for effective teaching in general and are particularly relevant to Holocaust education.
The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the Nazi German regime and its allies and collaborators. The Holocaust was an evolving process that took place throughout Europe between 1933 and 1945.
This 38-minute film examines the Nazis’ rise and consolidation of power in Germany. Using rare footage, the film explores their ideology, propaganda, and persecution of Jews and other victims. It also outlines the path by which the Nazis and their collaborators led a state to war and to the murder of millions of people. By providing a concise overview of the Holocaust and those involved, this resource is intended to provoke reflection and discussion about the role of ordinary people, institutions, and nations between 1918 and 1945.
NOTE: This film contains difficult subject matter and imagery. Some segments may not be appropriate for younger audiences. Learn about resources for educators using this film here.
This lesson is structured around a multi-layered wall timeline that encourages critical thinking about the relationship between Nazi policy, World War II, historical events, and individual experiences during the Holocaust.
Grade level: Adaptable for grades 7–12
Time required: This activity is highly adaptable and can be completed in 60 minutes or multiple class sessions, used as a point of reference throughout an entire unity of study, or have thematic extension activities added.
Using Stories and Voices
One Survivor Remembers – Gerda Weissmann’s account of surviving the Holocaust
(40 minute film produced in 1995 by HBO and USHMM)
US Immigration Policy and Experiences of Jewish Refugees – Sample Lessons
(lesson curated and presented from the NMHIM Educational Leadership Team and NM PBS)
Using Books and Literature
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