Designed for UK classrooms, this unit consists of fifteen lessons and leads students through an examination of the catastrophic period in the twentieth century when Nazi Germany murdered 6 million Jews and millions of other civilians during the Second World War.
It draws upon and adapts resources from the book Holocaust and Human Behaviour and its related media collection, and it follows the Facing History and Ourselves scope and sequence. Students begin with an examination of the relationship between the individual and society, reflect on the way humans divide themselves into ‘in’ groups and ‘out’ groups, and consider both the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Party’s rise to power in Germany. Students then bear witness to the human suffering of the Holocaust and examine the range of responses from individuals and nations to the genocidal mass murder of the Nazi regime. In the later lessons, students draw connections between this history and the present day, weighing questions like how to achieve justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of atrocities, how painful histories should be remembered, and how this history educates us about our responsibilities in the world today.
- Recognise the human tendency to create ‘in’ groups and ‘out’ groups, and the consequences of that behaviour for a society’s universe of obligation.
- Understand the particular historical context in which the Nazi Party established a dictatorship in Germany, marginalised Jews and other minority groups within German society, and ultimately committed genocide under the cover of war.
- Wrestle with the choices that individuals, groups, and nations made in response to the Nazi dictatorship and the violence and terror it caused, as well as the aspects of human behaviour that contributed to those choices.
- Make connections between universal themes related to democracy, citizenship, racism, and antisemitism that this history raises and the world they live in today.
- Understand their responsibilities as active young citizens to make choices that help bring about a more just and compassionate world.
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This unit overview gives you a brief summary of all of the lessons in the unit and lists the materials needed alongside the main activities.