Rescue During the Holocaust

The purpose of the the next lessons in the course is to expose students to acts of rescue during the Holocaust.  The development of this lesson was influenced by materials from USHMM, Echoes and Reflections, and the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.  This lesson takes three full blocks, from bell to bell, to complete.  All materials listed (minus direct technology) are listed below.  Additionally, it bears important to note two things in proceeding with this lesson; first, students should realize that while rescue is often over-emphasized by the media and general public, acts of rescue were sadly to few.  Second, Schindler's List is a compelling film but possesses many historical inaccuracies that should be discussed with students.  The film is used in this course largely to serve as a platform for discussion of this issue and also its importance in the placement of the Holocaust in American popular culture.


Core Lesson Concept:  On the first day of this lesson, students seek to identify some of the difficulties encountered by those who acted as "rescuers" during the Holocaust.  They view several testimonies from Echoes and Reflections which ask them to expand upon their responses to the opening question.   Next, they read a handout from Echoes entitled "Those Who Dared to Rescue" and create a graphic organizer of the rescuers identified in this reading.  This activity provides a springboard for them to further their concept of "Who was a rescuer?" which leads into a discussion and testimony viewing related to The Righteous Among the Nations honor bestowed by Yad Vashem.  The first day ends with an exploration of hidden children beyond Anne Frank and a comparison of testimonies. 



Core Lesson Concept:  The second and third days of the lesson have students viewing "Schindler's List" and is followed by a debunking of myths perpetrated by the film with a journal exercise on Hollywood's role in shaping Holocaust memory.  The materials below include an intensive question set and a lighter question set.  These materials were prepared, in part, by Sean Gaston of Fleetwood Area High School.


Additional Materials:

Suggested Supplemental Reading for Teachers:

* This activity is shared as a sample.  The Gallery Walk Materials are from a special limited edition book by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous that is not regularly available.  An alternate activity could be created using these posters from USHMM.