Holocaust Resources

The Holocaust was one example of GENOCIDE, the most-studied and well-known example in recent history

What is genocide? – Do some initial research on the term

Another look at the word genocide

The eight stages of genocide


Create a RAN chart by looking at this link, or the example below. THEN fill out two of the columns to discuss in class tomorrow.

Before we have presentations from a guest speaker later in the week, and before you begin reading any articles or books in this unit, I’d like you to make a list of everything you already know about the Holocaust.

This list should be included in the very first column of below RAN chart. Copy the chart down onto a piece of loose-leaf in the reading section of your binder.

For some of you, this will be a fairly lengthy list; for others, it will be shorter. That is okay. Think about it for at least five minutes and jot down what comes to mind. If you don’t know too much, try to think of some specific questions you’d like answered. Those questions would go in the far-right column. A bullet-point list is preferred. Again, what you already know, would go in the far-left column of the chart, under “What I think I know”.

Once that column is as full as you can make it, move to the far-right column. Your questions or “wonderings” will go there. Fill out the “Wonderings” sections of the chart as well.

As you begin reading your copy of Children of the Holocaust (after you put your name in it). As you read, make any adjustments or additions to your RAN chart as necessary. For example, if you learn a new fact, write that bullet-point under the “New Information” column. If you find out that something you thought you knew was not exactly right, draw an arrow from that bullet-point in the first column to the “Misconceptions” column. And ALWAYS, whenever questions arise, write them in the “Wonderings or Questions” column. Please do not read past the first two chapters today or tonight. Your homework assignment is to read the first chapter.

Then, choose any 1 of the questions below (each question is made up of multiple smaller questions) and answer them in your red notebook. Write at least 1/2 a page as an answer. Be as sophisticated and deep-thinking as possible.

  1. What does the title The Bear That Wasn’t mean? Why didn’t the Factory officials recognize the Bear for what he was? Why did it become harder and harder for him to maintain his identity as he moved through the bureaucracy (levels of bosses and managers) of the Factory? What is Tashlin (the author) suggesting about the relationship between an individual and society? About the way a person’s identity is defined? About the way powerful individuals and groups shape the identity of those with less power and authority?
  2. How does our need to be a part of a group affect our actions? Why is it so difficult for a person to go against the group? Have you ever experienced a similar problem to that of the Bear? How did you deal with it? Were you able to maintain your independence? How difficult was it to do so?

In the next class, you will read and respond to a partner’s answers about “The Bear that Wasn’t” by trading notebooks with the person next to you. First, please read the answers that they wrote. Then quietly respond to their answers in your own writing. You may address them personally as if you are writing a note to them.

For example: If Antonio wrote, “I think that the factory officials failed to recognize the bear for what he truly was because they didn’t want to see the truth. Also, it was easier for them to assume the bear was a worker because he was in a factory than questioning all that they knew about their factory. It may have also been economically or financially better for them the ignore the fact that he was a bear because if they did, they could put him to work and make him earn money for them. They also may have never had experience with a bear, so they were ignorant. They had limited knowledge of bears, and they couldn’t or didn’t want to see beyond that.”

I could write back, “Antonio, that is well said, and I agree with you. I also think that sometimes we are limited by our own experiences or lack of experiences and can’t see beyond them. Or some of us could end up stereotyping a person, or in this case an animal, because we have only ever seen negative images of that person, or animal.”

The final unit of the year centers around the idea of “classification” and racism. We will talk about both of these terms in depth in the coming weeks. But before we do, I’d like you to free write about them. Open your journal to a clean page and put today’s date at the top. Then answer any or all of the following questions:

  • What could the word “classification” mean? What do we do when we classify things? Did you classify yourself when you made your identity chart?
  • How could that relate to racism?
  • What is racism? ageism? sexism?, or any other “ism” for that matter?
  • What causes racism? or these other “isms”?
  • Can racism be stopped? If yes, how? and if no, why not?




In contrast to The Terrible Things, we can learn about the rescue of Jews in Denmark.



Holocaust Remembrance Day: Yom Hashoah


Literature Circle – small group sharing and comparing

Theresienstadt Investigation

Using the big, colored packets on Mrs. R’s desk, read about Theresienstadt, the “model ghetto” established by the Nazis in the Czech Republic. If you started this packet last week, pick off from where you left off. If not, start at the beginning and finish. Then using the yellow handout in your binder (extras are on the ledge behind Mrs. R’s desk) select 2-3 sections to study deeper. Choose any sections that interest you, turn back to those pages and answer the corresponding questions in the packet.

When finished, read your choice book or work on choice word vocabulary word-maps OR work on the “Pyramid of Hate” homework exercise. The necessary “Pyramid of Hate” hand-out is in the bottom bin on the filing cabinet by the door.
Extra word-maps for vocabulary study are in the top of the bin on the filing cabinet.
Links to Merriam-Webster’s and a site on which to find extra example sentences are on the vocabulary page.


How do people go from prejudiced attitudes to genocide?

Necessary hand-out in the bin on the filing cabinet by the door.
Look at “The Pyramid of Hate” below. It was created by the Anti-Defamation League. Read it from bottom to top. Then listen and watch my Voicethread explaining the different sections of the pyramid. As you do so, fill in the missing information on your PyramidOfHate_handout.

Follow my instructions in the Voicethread and be ready to share your notes, questions and examples in class.

Listen and watch the Voicethread (or try this link) walking you through the sections. Use the info in it to fill-in notes on your handout. Stop when you are finished with the notes. The next exercise we will do in class.



Video clips for Pyramid of Hate exercise

Pyramid Exercise

Access to over 1,000 Holocaust survivor’s stories. iWitness project



Read about modern examples of hate and write a response in your journal.


Holocaust links:
USHMM (the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.)
propaganda exhibit from the USHMM
animated maps from the USHMM
Personal Histories from the USHMM
maps from the USHMM
2013 report from the USHMM on the unbelievable number of camps during the Holocaust

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous – stories of rescuers
USHMM archive – one man’s last letter to his wife
Remember Me project from the USHMM
Holocaust glossary from Northwestern University
Holocaust glossary for middle school students

One survivor speaks
The SS and SA and Gestapo

The history of the swastika

Released from LIFE magazine in May of 2011, photos of Hitler and the Third Reich, 1939 – 1940

Death marches

Videos of survivors discussing arrival at Auschwitz

Information about Auschwitz:
A complex of concentration, labor, and extermination camps located approximately 40 miles west of Krakow in Upper Silesia (Poland). Established in 1940 as a concentration camp, it became a killing center in 1942.
Auschwitz I: The central camp.
Auschwitz II: Also known as Birkenau, was the killing center.
Auschwitz III: Monowitz, was the IG Farben labor camps, also known as BUNA.

The complex was approximately 40 square kilometers (15.44 square miles) used as a “development zone” reserved for the exclusive use of the camp. There was a 3 kilometer border of unused land around the perimeter that acted as a buffer or border between the camp and the outside world.

In addition, there were numerous subsidiary camps. Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945. The number of victims at Auschwitz-Birkenau is estimated at:

1,082,000 to 1,100,000 Jews mortality rate
94.4 percent
21,000 Gypsies 93.5 percent
70,000 to 75,000 Poles 58.1 percent
15,000 Soviet POWs 99.2 percent
5,000 prisoners of other nationality not known
(Source of statistics is: Franciszek Piper, “Number of Victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau,” Yad Vashem Studies 21 (1991), 98.)

Virtual tour of Auschwitz

Elie Wiesel background and information:
PBS interview

Be ready to answer the following questions about your book:
-Who were the perpetrators and victims involved in this genocide?
-When did this genocide occur?
-Why did it happen?
-Where did it happen?

The Russian Revolution and Communism under Stalin for Bielski Brothers and Between Shades of Gray:


The Lost Boys of Sudan and the Sudanese Civil War for A Long Walk to Water:
– Sudan and the civil war
– CNN article on Kuol Dut, one survivor or “lost boy”
– CNN reporter’s blogabout meeting Kuol Dut and other “lost boys” of Sudan

– Vote for southern independence in January 2011
– A former “Lost Boy” speaks about the new country of South Sudan – January of 2012

Genocide Prevention:
Information about genocide awareness and prevention can be found on the following websites: