Issues of World War II: The Holocaust


US History (11th) The United States and World War II Issues of World War II: The Holocaust
Students learn about the Nazi Holocaust through primary sources such as photos and oral histories, as well as secondary sources. Then, they learn about the liberation of the concentration camps by the victorious Allied armies at the end of the war. Finally, they survey other historical examples of genocide, such as in Rwanda and Myanmar (Burma).

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for Issues of World War II: The Holocaust:

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the Nazi Holocaust through primary sources such as photos and oral histories, as well as secondary sources. Then, they learn about the liberation of the concentration camps by the victorious Allied armies at the end of the war. Finally, they survey other historical examples of genocide, such as in Rwanda and Myanmar (Burma).

Students will collaborate in small groups to create a report in scene 4.

This experience contains a lot of sensitive and disturbing content. You may choose to teach it over two sessions in order to spend adequate time on the various elements of the Holocaust. Ensure all students are given the opportunity to process the information as needed.

A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust: Timeline provides background information on the phases of the Holocaust and what each one involved. Each clickable label on the timeline, such as “The Ghettos,” “The Camps,” and “Resistance,” leads to a page containing a wealth of details. 

Objectives

  • Describe the Holocaust and the German concentration camps.
  • Analyze the liberation of the camps.


Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of World War II was the Holocaust: the Nazis’ systematic, large-scale effort to exterminate entire populations of Jews, Roma (Gypsies), gay people, the disabled, and other groups that the Nazis considered “untermenschen” (subhuman). In this experience, you will learn the disturbing details.

Objectives

  • Describe the Holocaust and the German concentration camps.
  • Analyze the liberation of the camps.




Jews arrested by German troops during the Warsaw ghetto uprising, May-June, 1943


Look at the photo and read the caption. The people who have been arrested are victims of genocide, an attempt to destroy an entire population group such as a race or religion. They have been taken by force by German soldiers, just for being Jewish.

Imagine that you are one of the following people (your choice):

  • the boy in the foreground with raised hands
  • a woman in the photo
  • a soldier in the photo
  • the photographer


What thoughts would be going through your mind during the event? Identify the person whose point of view you are expressing. Then, write at least two complete sentences or thoughts.

Post your answer

Select at least one student response for each of the four types of people named. Invite students to discuss these questions:

  • How will thoughts differ between different points of view?
  • What answer might each person give to the question: How could such events even happen?

Tell students that in this experience, they will learn how such events could come about.

The photograph above has become an iconic image of the Holocaust. An entire book was written about the photo and about attempts to trace the identity of the boy. You may want to read the article The Ghetto, the Nazis and One Small Boy included in the Teacher Pack, to learn more about the photo, the boy, and the book.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The United States and World War II Unit.
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