This 23-lesson unit on the Holocaust and World War II asks students to reflect on the essential question, What does learning about the choices people made during the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazi Party, and the Holocaust teach us about the power and impact of our choices today?
This 23-lesson unit leads middle or high school students through an examination of the Holocaust and World War II. Lessons draw on photographs, readings, maps, and videos from our resource book Holocaust and Human Behavior. Following our 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 then dive into a case study of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Party’s rise to power in Germany. They bear witness to the human suffering of the Holocaust and examine the range of responses from individuals and nations. In the unit’s later lessons, students draw connections between this history and today, reflecting on questions like:
How do you achieve justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of atrocities?
How should painful histories be remembered?
How does this history educate us about our responsibilities in the world today?
A previous version of this unit was titled Decision Making in Times of Injustice.
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Teaching Holocaust and Human Behavior
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Holocaust Trivialization and Distortion: What Are the Implications of Comparing Current Events to the Holocaust?
Use this Teaching Idea to introduce students to contemporary examples of Holocaust trivialization and prompt reflection on the question “What are the implications of comparing current events to the Holocaust?”