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Holocaust Reading

Page history last edited by Keith Schoch 6 years ago

In addition to the two sections of sources below, scroll to the very bottom for some articles which at first may seem unrelated to Holocaust education, but may contain some thoughts relating to violence, intervention, and complaining.


Reasons to Avoid Learning about the Holocaust



"Many teachers are reluctant to explore the history of the Holocaust with their students because of the perceived difficulties in teaching the subject. They are overwhelmed by how to convey the scale of the tragedy, the enormity of the numbers involved, and the depths to which humanity can sink. They wonder how to move their students without traumatizing them; they worry about their students' possible reactions to this subject and how to deal with "inappropriate" behavior in the classroom, such as giggling or expressing antisemitic and racist remarks."

From How to Teach about the Holocaust in Schools



Not much is left of my 14 year old daughter's Holocaust innocence. Lessons taught in religious school, reading "The Diary of Anne Frank," and generic middle school history lessons took care of that. Whatever innocence my daughter has left is short-lived because her ninth-grade English class just started reading "Night" by Elie Wiesel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning first-person account of life inside a concentration camp... By page 22, my daughter had already learned a lot. Maybe too much.


"Why are we allowed to read this book without a parent's permission, but we were required to get a permission slip for other books?" she asks.


Why? Because the permission slip, for the sake of full disclosure, would have to say something like this: "We would like your permission to forever change the way your child looks at the world, to shatter her innocence about the depths of evil, to singe images into her brain she will never be able to erase. Be advised that if your child currently believes that humanity is basically decent, this book will instantly cure her of that illusion. Be further advised that if your child believes that God or you *or* your spouse will always protect her from evil, this book will teach her otherwise. And if your child is currently under the impression that another Holocaust is impossible, she will start to question that belief when she learns that the Jews of Europe thought it was impossible too."

From Teaching the Unteachable



Reasons for Learning about the Holocaust



Students in grades 6 and above demonstrate the ability to empathize with individual eyewitness accounts and to attempt to understand the complexities of this history, including the scope and scale of the events. While elementary students are able to empathize with individual accounts, they often have difficulty placing them in a larger historical context.

From Guidelines for Teaching About the Holocaust



A Northwest Career and Technical Academy teacher is accused of denying the Holocaust happened and telling students that the Nazis lacked the technology to kill so many Jews, one senior said. Jewish students said the teacher's comments have circulated widely and have created a poisonous atmosphere at the public school, which has led other students to make anti-Semitic jokes and threats against them.

From Teacher's Holocaust Denials Cause Uproar



“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” —George Santayana



We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.

There is so much injustice and suffering crying out for our attention: victims of hunger, of racism, and political persecution... Human rights are being violated on every continent.


What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.

Elie Wiesel's Acceptance Speech, on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1986



When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?

Zombies, along with Nazis and aliens, may be the easiest of all video game entities to slaughter without a second thought. Have you ever played a game in which you felt conflicted about the virtual violence you were inflicting — or do you lay waste to your pixelated enemies without a second thought? Is there anything that makes you hesitate before pulling the virtual trigger?


Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?

Have you ever witnessed someone doing something wrong–whether a bully picking on someone weaker or someone committing a crime? If so, what did you do? Why?

Do you think bystanders have a responsibility to intervene when they witness wrongdoing?


Do People Complain Too Much?

An organization called A Complaint Free World is trying to help people give up the habit of what it deems a toxic form of communication.

Do you feel that this is a good goal to have? Do you think complaining is bad for those who do it and those who listen to other people complain?


Why We Need Holocaust Education


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