Notice: The Facing History lending library is currently unable to fulfill orders for hard copy materials. We are very sorry for any inconvenience. Please see our Lending Library FAQ or email us at [email protected] if you need recommendations for specific material, or have any questions about how to get the content that you need.

The Hangman

DVD

12 minutes, color
Source: Out of print

A poem written by Maurice Ogden and narrated by Herschel Bernardi provides the script for this short film. It is a parable in which the people of a town are hanged, one by one, by a mysterious stranger who erects a gallows in the center of the town. For each hanging, the remaining townspeople find a rationale until the hangman comes for the last survivor, who finds no one left to speak up for him. Superb animation provides a visual accompaniment to the poem. This film works particularly well with discussions of the role of bystanders and the question of individual responsibility.

This poem is also available as a reading.

Related lessons:
Exploring Obedience: Germany Under the Nazis
Obedience and Traditional Jewish Texts: The Milgram Experiment

Related Content

Reading
Holocaust

The Hangman

Explore bystander behavior and the challenges of speaking up with Maurice Ogden's poem “The Hangman.” 

Lesson
Holocaust

Kristallnacht (UK)

Students learn about the violent pogroms of Kristallnacht by watching a short documentary and then reflecting on eyewitness testimonies.

Lesson
Holocaust

Kristallnacht

Students learn about the violent pogroms of Kristallnacht by watching a short documentary and then reflecting on eyewitness testimonies.

DVD,
Streaming Video

Obedience

The Milgram experiment measured the willingness of test subjects to obey authority in ways contrary to their own judgment and conscience.

Search Our Global Collection

Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.