Resources for Teaching about the Holocaust and Hate
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz
Recently a Southern California school had the students do a research project on whether the Holocaust really happened. (http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/05/06/holocaust-denial-exercise-for-students-in-california-high-school-backfires)
The backlash was considerable and deservedly so. Not only one was the premise beyond common sense, it would mean that the students would be using the Internet and other sources that could be very misleading and, essentially, propaganda. (The Southern Poverty Law Center has a lengthy list of such sites. )
The problem that emerges is that most students don’t know quality site from a propaganda sites. And it is possible that they may have to register or give their email address to sites that pander to hate. As such, it is critical that an educator review all the sites and other sources first.
To this end, here are some excellent sites that provide information about the Holocaust. I use these sites to not only teach the students the evils of hate, but to show them what happens when they don’t stand-up to evil using Nazi Germany as an example. A recent poll indicated that nearly ten percent of American had never heard of the Holocaust and that clearly indicates the importance of George Santayana’s quote, “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”
I have also added an excellent unit on diaries should you want to take the Diary of Anne Frank and relate it to other such works.
The exhibits here are a must watch for all students. The many lessons that can be learned are invaluable in building better, more active citizens. There are videos here as well. Be aware that the material here may need to be reviewed to see if it is appropriate for younger students.
Jewish Virtual Library
Primary resources for older students
Teaching plans for various subjects based on the Holocaust
Here is a site that lists hate groups and more
Southern Poverty Law Center
An excellent resource worth spending time with
Lots of good ideas that fit with Common Core objectives
My unit on Anne Frank and her diary
An excellent unit of study that incorporates other diaries, history, and much more to make this subject more meaningful to students and adults.