The resources in this collection help students build background knowledge about the rise of the Nazi party and deepen their understanding of the Holocaust. This is essential to interpreting the documents and oral histories available through Ancestry.
In today’s world, questions of how best to build and maintain democratic societies that are pluralistic, open, and resilient to violence are more relevant than ever. Studying the Holocaust allows students to wrestle with profound moral questions raised by this history and fosters their skills in ethical reasoning, critical thinking, empathy, and civic engagement: all of which are critical for sustaining democracy. In addition to classroom resources, we also offer a selection of professional learning resources that support educators by modeling how to best incorporate survivor accounts and testimony into their teaching of this history.
These lessons are designed to lead students through an examination of the catastrophic period in the twentieth century when Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews and millions of other civilians, in the midst of the most destructive war in human history. The unit follows Facing History’s unique methodology, and invites students to explore the universal themes inherent in a study of the Holocaust.
Students will examine how democracy was replaced with dictatorship in a relatively short period of time in Germany, and begin to draw conclusions about the responsibilities shared by both leaders and citizens for democracy’s survival.
This 4-lesson unit explores the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism and the humanitarian refugee crisis it provoked. By examining primary sources including public opinion polls, personal narratives, and radio plays, students will explore why widespread sympathy for Jewish refugees never translated into widespread support for their rescue.
Teaching about the Holocaust can inspire students to think critically about the past and their own roles and responsibilities today. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum provides resources to help teachers ground their instruction in sound rationale, methodology, and authoritative resources.
This set of lessons allows teachers to integrate teaching about the Holocaust into Social Studies and English/Language Arts units. The lessons range from one day introductions to the topic to a four day overview and explorations of Anne Frank's diary and Elie Wiesel's memoir, Night. Each lesson encourages inquiry and critical thinking rooted in primary sources from the Museum's collections.
Students examine Holocaust survivor testimonies as personal memories and as deliberately-created historical records, and evaluate how the Holocaust affected the lives of individuals, as well as the role of memory in our understanding of history.
This lesson is a case study examining Nazi Germany and the United States during the 1930s, at a time when racism and eugenics were enshrined in law and practice. Students will examine the national and historical contexts in which racism manifested in the two countries, and explore how the pseudoscience of eugenics as well as concerns about "racial purity" found its way into the laws of the United States and Nazi Germany.
Students examine Holocaust-era diaries as both historical and as deliberately-created literary texts, and understand how the Holocaust affected the lives of individuals.
This multimedia resource contains more than 850 articles about the Holocaust, antisemitism, and current-day mass atrocities in 19 languages. Resources for educators include discussion questions, an overview of topics to teach, maps, eyewitness testimony clips, and more.
Using the citizen history project, History Unfolded, students investigate what information about the Holocaust was available in their communities by doing original research using historic newspapers found online or in a local library. Through an analysis of their discoveries, they better understand American responses to the Holocaust within the socio-economic and political context of the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. For teachers who cannot or choose not to engage their students in original archival research, several lessons using content from the History Unfolded project are available for student examination of American responses to the Holocaust using historical newspapers.
This webinar is a companion to the “Americans and the Holocaust” unit. It models resources and activities from the unit and includes teaching tips.
Explore the significance of hearing testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust.
Watch a master teacher prepare his students to engage with survivor testimony.