Volume:4, Issue: 3

Dec. 15, 2012

Walking in Shoes Never Worn: Personalizing Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Jensen, Kimberly J. [about]

DESCRIPTORS: Holocaust, genocide, education, indifference, reflective thinking, academic discussion.
SYNOPSIS: This paper provides frameworks for introducing Holocaust and genocide studies in the classroom.  Studies on the Holocaust and genocide should be undertaken for the purpose of prevention and creating more just societies.  Just observing the Holocaust by looking at videos and photos, or reading stories, does not create individual connections. By connecting the students at a personal level, a critical analysis naturally begins to take shape.  Additionally, the environment in which such studies should occur is discussed.  This paper also includes an introductory lesson plan, as well as an array of reputable sources for getting started.


The Holocaust looms formidably in history not only for its sheer magnitude, but also for its testament to man’s capacity for absolute evil.  It represents what happens when individual prejudices and animosity are manipulated into a collective hatred.  More importantly, the Holocaust signifies what happens when individuals act passively in the face of seemingly “minor” injustices (Wiesenthal, 1969/1998).  It reminds us that culpability rests in the hands of ordinary citizens, not just the men (and women) who hold seats of power.  The reality is that the Holocaust represents each and every one of us: past, present, and future. Alkalaj (1998) argues that each individual must accept responsibility for genocide by “remember[ing] that each and every victim is one of the collective us” (p. 104, original emphasis).  The only way to prevent genocide is to recognize its antecedents: individual and societal vilification of “the Other.”  As educators, we have a responsibility to educate our students morally and reflectively (Dewey, 1933; Kohlberg, 1976; Purpel, 2010; Volf, 2011).  However, this endeavor requires teachers who are dedicated to truth and are willing to stand up against faddish rhetoric that discriminates and alienates.

While the Holocaust is replete with stories of indifference and outright brutality, it is also one of hope and triumph of the human heart.  Examining his Holocaust experience from a psychological standpoint, Frankl (1946/2006) concluded that humanity has really only two races, “the decent man and the indecent man” (p. 86). This concept deliberately counters the notion of differences based on one’s ethnicity.  Decency and indecency cross the boundaries of ethnicity, national identity, religion, or profession.  What is it that separates the decent from the indecent, the perpetrator from the savior?  That is, what is it that enables some individuals to deliberately, and perhaps intrinsically, stand against the prevailing sentiments and hatreds of one’s culture and come to the aid of their “condemned” neighbor?

Studies on the Holocaust and genocide should be undertaken for the purpose of prevention and creating more just societies.  It is easy to only focus on the atrocities of the Holocaust, because so much of what is available is horrific and this approach does not require any in-depth analysis.  Just observing the Holocaust by looking at videos and photos, or reading stories, does not create individual connections. Only by connecting the students at a personal level, a critical analysis naturally begins to take shape.  This analysis is deepened when students examine those few individuals who had the courage to stand up for what is moral and just, despite personal cost, against the majority who either actively or passively participated in the destruction of others.  

This paper is divided into five sections.  First the terms genocide, Holocaust, and the “the Other” are defined in order to provide context.  The second section outlines the educative atmosphere in which Holocaust and genocide studies should be undertaken.  In this sense, I discuss the roles of reflective thinking and academic discussion in developing students who can recognize the antecedents to genocide, and therefore be active participants in its prevention.  The third section juxtaposes Frankl’s (1946/2006) “two races”: the decent and indecent individual.  As this section highlights, understanding those characteristics and mindsets that represent indecency and decency help students recognize the conditions of the heart and mind that either foster or circumvent genocide.  The fourth section provides an introductory lesson plan to Holocaust and genocide studies.  The purpose of this lesson is to enable students to make a personal connection to the humanness and individuality of every member of society.  Finally, a list of reliable resources is included to help educators navigate the enormity of information available.  Many of these resources provide curriculum and lesson materials for educators, while others have sections or activities specifically for use by students. 

Definitions: Genocide, Holocaust and “the Other”

The practice of eliminating a group of people based on some categorized difference (i.e. ethnic, religious, etc.) is centuries old.  However, the scale and systemization upon which this practice was carried out under Hitler created the need to name such actions.  In 1943, the term genocide was coined by Lemkin (1944) to refer to any coordinated efforts to destroy a group of people.  The term was legally defined by the United Nations (UN) (1948) at the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, stating that genocide is “any of a number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” (par. 2).  This total annihilation of a group’s culture is not necessarily accomplished through mass killings, as it includes, but is not limited to, sterilization and re-acculturation. Through re-acculturation, the persecuted groups’ cultural and national identity is completely eliminated to resemble that of the oppressors.

The term Holocaust refers specifically to the attempted annihilation of European Jewry during World War II.  Though other groups, such as Gypsies, Communists, the mentally and physically infirm, and homosexuals were also persecuted, the destruction of these groups is referred to as genocide.  The Holocaust was genocide, but because of its ubiquitous use and example, the term Holocaust continues to be referenced as such. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), “Guidelines for Teaching about the Holocaust” (2012) warns against “comparisons of pain” (par. 12).  In this sense, all victims of genocide suffer under the hands of the oppressors.  It is important to recognize the extent to which the Jews in particular were targeted during the Nazi era, but not to the extent of saying that this experience was worse than other victims’ experiences (par. 12). 

When a society deems its own preservation and ways of life as more important, advanced, or righteous than that of another, it immediately classifies itself (the majority) against “the Other.”  In this way, “the Other” represents any group that is not like the majority.  Subsequently, “the Other” is often caricatured as immoral, backward, and in some way antithetical to the desires and aims of the majority.  Thus, this classification and mindset toward “the Other” has the potential for creating scapegoats who are considered responsible for all of society’s social, economic, and/or political ills.  As educators of the young, and thus “conditioners,” as Lewis (1944) put it, we must question our own motives and perceptions.  Are we fostering discrimination and alienation, or community?

Reflective Thinking and Academic Discussion: Fostering a Just Community

Defining Reflective Thinking

Solzhenitsyn (1980) said, “[T]ruth eludes us as soon as our concentration begins to flag, all the while leaving the illusion that we are continuing to pursue it” (p. 3).  Reflective thinking is one’s conscious analysis of any external inputs.  Thus, it is essentially one’s ability to weigh the validity of any ideology, belief, or knowledge set (Dewey, 1933; Lewis, 1944).  Reflective thinking is both an intellectual (Dewey, 1933) and moral (Lewis, 1944; Kohlberg, 1976) act. Kohlberg (1976) posits that when the intellect is developed, so is the ability to reason morally.  Ethical issues, he contends, require the ability for individuals to weigh alternatives, evaluate the basis for which beliefs and knowledge sets are grounded, and consider the potential impact of actions.  

Reflective thinking brings individual and collective actions and ways of thinking in consciousness.  However, “[l]azy inertness,” Dewey (1933) writes, “causes individuals to accept ideas that have currency about them without personal inquiry and testing” (p. 237).  Such laziness leads individuals to accept whatever idea or whim or movement that seems logical or “feels” good.  This lack of reflection can also lead individuals to neglect the ramifications of one’s ideas and actions (Lewis, 1944).  Studies on the Holocaust, and other examples of genocide throughout history, afford students the opportunity to practice reflective thinking.  In doing so, students become actively aware of the multiple and interacting factors that lead to genocide and the responsibility of individuals to ensure justice.

Defining Academic Discussion

Academic discussion refers to the reciprocal exchange of ideas, beliefs, and knowledge. The word academic is intentional here as it indicates a trained or disciplined form of discussion.  In this way, discussion leads to a purposeful end.   Therefore, academic discussion goes beyond the mere exchange of personal beliefs and knowledge to one that seeks consensus, solutions, and alternatives.  In essence, individuals who engage in academic discussion seek that which is good in “the Other,” in oneself, and society.  Academic discussion is engaged interaction.  It requires the ability to not only offer ideas and perspectives, but also the ability to listen to the ideas and perspectives of others.  Public life is dependent upon individuals who are willing to enter into the perspective of others and are able to see themselves from the perspective of others (Palmer, 1993; Volf, 2011).  In conjunction with reflective thinking, academic discussion allows students to openly discuss the factors that lead to genocide.  Academic discussion also creates classrooms where respect for each other is practiced.  In many ways, academic discussion fosters the very skills requisite for a just society.   

Education versus Indoctrination

Cultivating reflective thinking and academic discussion requires individuals who are committed to truth and morality.  This claim, however, is not made without reservation.  After all, Hitler (1925) argued that reason, not emotions, should be one’s “faithful guardian and counselor [sic]” (p. 56); and it was through “reason” that Hitler deduced that Jews (as well as other “groups”) were enemies of Germany who needed to be destroyed.  Additionally, “morality” has oft been used to perpetuate discrimination and violence.  Guised in religious, nationalistic, or “traditional values” rhetoric, the ideologies of the State (or Party) becomes the “new” morality and method by which to create widespread cohesion (Barnett, 2006).  This new morality is aimed at the young.  How better to create devoted adherents than to formulate the minds and attitudes of students?

The classroom represents in microcosm the aims and sentiments of society. Thus, schooling has been and continues to be used for two divergent means.  At its best, schooling cultivates independent, reflective thinkers who engage in critical dialogue that leads to the amelioration of all members of society. A liberal education exposes students to various ways of thinking, in order to broaden understanding through examining different perspectives.   This type of education can foster both reinforcement of strongly held values, but also develop tolerance to other ways of being and knowing.  However, at its worst, schooling is used to foster nationalistic or social ideology that further perpetuates the alienation of “the Other.”  Through indoctrination, a new generation of young, stripped from parental influence, and often encouraged to reject the traditional beliefs of one’s parents, is created.  In this way, the seeds of genocide are planted in fertile ground.  The use of indoctrination, utilized in mass media, schooling, and even religious institutions, is a worthwhile topic for exploration in studies on the Holocaust and genocide.

Education as Transformation

A community of connectedness rooted in love and moral obligation transpires when individuals think and interact morally. Human flourishing, Pojman (1995) writes, encourages individuals to “friendship and fidelity, challenging them to excellence and a worthwhile life” (p. 17).  Education as a transformative endeavor leads to this type of connected community.  I have used a maxim with my students for several years now: “Experiences drive beliefs, beliefs drive actions.”  To create a just community, we must first develop experiences that lead students to belief sets that challenge the status quo, while simultaneously promoting unity and justice.  A balanced and thoughtful approach to studies on genocide can lead to transformative thinking and acting. 

Students need to actively engage in discussion and thinking around issues of power, injustice, indifference, and individual and collective actions.   Through this interaction, they will become more aware of these issues in their personal lives.  Awareness, however, is not enough.  Transformative education leads to action.  Promoting individual and collective flourishing requires boldness and conscious consideration and action. 

Portrait of the “Two Races”: The Decent and the Indecent

A balanced approach to Holocaust and genocide studies is important.  USHMM’s “Guidelines for Teaching about the Holocaust” (2012) warns against overemphasizing either the heroes or the perpetrators.  They remind educators that an overemphasis on the heroes tends to “romanticize history,” and conversely, an overemphasis on the perpetrators and the characteristics of brutality only serve to perpetuate these traits and “foster cynicism” (Methodological Considerations, par. 12).  That said, analyzing what Frankl (1959/2006) terms the “two races” is critical in order to better understand those beliefs, mindsets, and personal actions that enable genocide to take root, occur, and continue.  By juxtaposing the indecent individual to the decent one, we have a better hope of averting genocide. Many students ask during the course of study, “How could the German people let this happen?” My response is always, “How does any group let it happen?”

In respect to the topic of this paper, the term indecency refers to the immoral of mind and heart.  Conversely, decency refers to that which is moral and just.  Further, one’s true nature, that is, one’s decency or indecency, is exposed in the face of uncertain or dire circumstances, or in positions of power.  For the brevity of time and space, only the salient characteristics of each type of individual will be discussed.  For materials and vignettes to engage students in the analysis of the two types of individuals, utilize Yad Vashem, UHMM, and Google Cultural Institute (see “Resources”).  Two excellent lesson plans offered by UHMM (2012), are “Why didn’t they fight back?” and “Rethinking Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Rescuers.”

The Indecent Individual

Whether the individuals who stood by and let the Nazis do whatever they wanted, the perpetrators themselves, or prisoners in the camps, indecency prevailed (Frankl, 1946/2006, Wiesel, 1982; Wiesenthal, 1969/1998; Massaquoi, 1999).   By and large, genocides occur because, for the most part, those who are not being victimized turn a blind eye, whether out of fear or because it is silent assent.  Fear is a powerful agent, but so is indifference.  When persecution is happening to “the Other,” it is easier to ignore injustice, then to make a bold stance against it.  In addition to indifference, self-preservation is a marked characteristic of the indecent individual.  While survival is a natural tendency, the concept of self-preservation is the act of survival at the expense of others.  Another characteristic that manifests itself in analyzing the perpetrators is duplicity of mind and heart.  The insidious nature of indecency is that it is often guised in moral language or appearance.  Then there was the blatant indecency. Some individuals outwardly enjoyed taunting, abusing, and/or killing victims. 

The Decent Individual

Religion, ethnicity, gender, or national identity does not make one inherently decent, nor does showing kindness to merely one’s countryman or neighbor.  Drawing on biblical text, 1 John 2:9 says, “Anyone who claims to be in the light [truth] but hates his brother is still in the darkness” (1 John 2:19, NIV).  Jesus claimed that one’s “brother” was anyone with whom an individual came in contact: a friend, a neighbor, a countryman, a stranger, an enemy (Matthew 5:43-48; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-37).  Further, it cannot be assumed that no German, camp guard, or SS officer was completely indecent, as decency, though not the norm, was demonstrated in some of these individuals (Frankl, 1946/2006, Wiesel, 1982; Wiesenthal, 1969/1998; Massaquoi, 1999).  Lastly, analyzing primary sources allows students to evaluate and engage in academic discussion around perceptions of decency.  For example, Kossak (1942) is famously quoted, “In the face of crime, one cannot remain passive. Who remains silent in the face of slaughter – becomes an enabler of the murderer. Who does not condemn – then consents” (par. 1).  What is less known is her subsequent remark that Jews are still the “political, economic and conceptual enemies of Poland” (Kossak, 1942, par. 1). 

There are countless ways in which individuals and small groups attempted to confront the Nazi terror.  Some were as simple as showing decency to non-Aryan students or refusing to teach Nazi propaganda (Massaquoi, 1999) to harboring Jews and other targets (Rabinovici, 1998; Ayer, Waterford, & Heck, 1995).  In analyzing the stories of those who accessed their inner decency, despite the dangers, some unifying characteristics emerge.  First, these individuals were willing to sacrifice personal safety or their careers in order to save others.  These individuals also believed that every human being should be treated with respect, regardless of differences in religion, ethnicity, or way of life.  Another characteristic is that these individuals recognized the humanity of each person.  Because of this ability to see the humanness of “the Other,” the “decent” person is able to empathize with another person’s suffering, as if it is their own suffering. A moral mediator seems to be another prevalent characteristic.  Many drew on either Christian duty or human goodwill as a reason to protest against discrimination and violence (Kossak, 1942; Barnett, 2006).

A Lesson in Humanity: “What My Shoe Says about Me”

One of the most important aspects of introducing Holocaust studies to students is to bring them into the humanness of it.  While the Holocaust was a collective experience, it was individuals who comprised of that collective. Each of these individuals had a history of their own.  The idea for such an introduction was developed after I watched the film Auschwitz Death Camp (Winfrey & Wiesel, 2006).  Toward the end of the documentary, Oprah [Winfrey] and Elie Wiesel tour the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum permanent exhibition. The museum contains various artifacts taken from the individuals who were processed there, some of which are thousands of pairs of shoes, displayed behind glass to minimize decay.

Materials needed:

  • Blank white paper (printer paper works well),
  • A pencil for sketching
  • Colored pencils

Time needed:

  • Shoe Activity: Approximately 30 minutes
  • Film: Approximately 47 minutes

Preparation:

  • Queue the film.3  It is far more impactful to begin the film immediately after Step 6 listed below.
  • Distribute paper to each student.  I usually have extra paper in the event that a student wants to start over.
  • Paper orientation: Portrait. Have students fold the paper in half, matching short edge to short edge.
  • Have students write their name in the lower, right corner of the short edge of the paper [front side], but do not have them title it yet.

Procedure:     

To begin the lesson, I have students take off their right shoe and place it on their desk.  I then tell them to imagine that there was a pile of shoes in the front of the room and by random they pulled out the shoe that is in front of them.   It is important to tell students that they must attempt to separate themselves from the fact that the shoe in front of them is their own. Prompt and encourage the students to examine and analyze the shoe. 

  • Ask probing questions:  Prompting students with reflective questions is essential.  Consider the following questions: If a random person were to describe the owner of this shoe, what would he/she say?  That is, what does the shoe say about its owner? What kinds of distinguishing marks does the shoe have?  What does the style of the shoe possibly represent?
  • Reflect: Give students a minute or two to reflect on these questions. Remind them to analyze the shoe based on the shoe’s characteristics and not their personal knowledge and belief sets about themselves.
  • Draw: Give students about 20 minutes to draw and color in the shoe in the top half of the folded paper.
  • Write:  Once students have drawn their shoe, have them write a paragraph about what the shoe says about the owner in the lower half.  Have them use details about the shoe to illustrate their ideas.
  • Share:  Have students share their pictures and thoughts within small groups, or as an entire class.  This portion of the activity is essential, as it personalizes the activity.
  • Title:  Have students title their portrait “What My Shoe Says About Me.”
  • Collect and display:  Introduce and begin film. As the film plays, start hanging the drawings up around the room, so each “shoe” creates a collective.
  • During the film: This lesson does stir up emotions in even the toughest students, so monitoring is important.
  • Reflect:  After the film, give students a minute or two to reflect on the film.  Have students discuss the film in small groups first and then debrief it as a large group.  Typically, and without teacher prompting, students will naturally discuss the scene with the shoes. Ask reflective questions that lead students to further understand the human element of the Holocaust.  That is, guide students to the key idea that each pair of shoes represents a human life: a person who had hopes, dreams, experiences, and a future.  Consider having students write a reflective piece about what they learned from the lesson. 

After this lesson, I usually spend a day (or two) focusing on attitudes and mindsets that lead individuals or groups to classify another group, typically those unlike themselves, as “the Other.” I have students discuss where these stereotypes and prejudices come from, and ask them to consider the validity of these beliefs.

Conclusion

As Abelian (1998) commented, “In dealing with massive genocide, it [is] necessary to have communication between the past and the present, if lessons [are] to be learned from the events” (General Assembly Plenary-13, par. 3).  The prevention of genocide is possible only after we create communities of reflective, actively engaged citizens who morally weigh the condition of their own heart.  Studies on the Holocaust and genocide open the door for self and societal reflection and transformation.  

References
Abelian, M. (1998, December 2). General assembly, concerned that many continue to be victims of genocide, reaffirms significance of 1948 Genocide Treaty. Plenary Assembly-13, GA/9523, Press Release.  United Nations. 77th Meeting.  Retrieved from http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/1998/19981202.ga9523.html.

Alkalaj, S. (1998). Sven Alkalaj. In S. Wiesenthal, The sunflower (Rev. ed.), (pp. 101-104).  New York, NY: Schocken Books.

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.  (1999).  Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and museum: Permanent exhibition. Retrieved from http://en.auschwitz.org/z/

Ayer, E.H., Waterford, H., & Heck, A. (1995). Parallel Journeys.  New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks.

Barnett, V.J. (2006). The Nazi challenge to the German protestant church.  Alexandria, VA: Journey Films.  Retrieved from http://www.bonhoeffer.com/bkgrund.htm.

Dewey, J. (1933).  How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process.  Boston, MA: D.C. Heath and Company.

Frankl, V.E. (2006). Man’s search for meaning. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. (Original work published in 1946 under the title Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager).

Hitler, A. (2010). Mein Kampf. Memphis, TN: Bottom of the Hill. (Original work published 1925).

Kershaw, I. (1987). The ‘Hitler myth’: Image and reality in the Third Reich. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Kohlberg, L. (1976). Moral stages and moralization: The cognitive-developmental approach.  In T. Lickona (Ed.), Moral development and behavior: Theory, research, and social issues (31-53).  New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Kossak, Z. (1942).  Protest.  In D. Szkodzinska (Curator) 1914-2000, Jan Karski. Humanity’s hero.  Polish History Museum.  Retrieved from the Google Cultural Institute at http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!asset-viewer:l.id=WgEHPjyKIluslA&exhibitId=QR_UaCtP

Lemkin, R. (1944). Axis rule in occupied Europe: Laws of occupation - analysis of government - proposals for redress. Washington, DC: Carnegies Endowment for International Peace.

Lewis, C.S. (1944). The abolition of man. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Massaquoi, H.J. (1999).  Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi Germany. New York, NY: Perennial.

Palmer, P.J. (1993). To know as we are known: Education as a spiritual journey. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Pojman, L.P. (1995). Ethics: Discovering right and wrong. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Rabinovici. S. (1998). Thanks to my mother. (J. Skofield, Trans.). New York, NY: Puffin Books.

Solzhenitsyn, A. (1980). A world split apart.  In R. Berman (Ed.), Solzhenitsyn at Harvard: The address, twelve early responses, and six later reflections. Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center.  (Original work addressed 8 June 1978).

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (UHMM). (2012). Guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust. Washington, DC: USHMM, Retrieved from http://www.ushmm.org/education/ and http://www.ushmm.org/education/foreducators/guideline/.

United Nations. (1948, December 9). Convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, 1948.  New York. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/millennium/law/iv-1.htm.

United Nations (2010). Holocaust and other genocides. Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/EWG_Holocaust_and_Other_Genocides.pdf

Volf, M (2011).  A pubic faith: How followers of Christ should serve the common good.  Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.

Wiesel, E. (1982). Night. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Wiesenthal, S. (1998). The Sunflower: On the possibilities and limits of forgiveness. New York, NY: Schocken Books. (Original work published in 1969 under the title Die Sonnenblume).

Williams, S. (Writer, Producer, & Director) & Dietz, K. (Co-Producer). (1994). China: A century of revolution. [Motion picture]. (Available from Zeitgeist Films, www.zeitgeistfilms.com)

Winfrey, O.  & Wiesel, E. (2006, May 26). A special presentation: Oprah and Elie Wiesel at the Auschwitz death camp.  [Television broadcast].  Harpo, Inc. [Producer].  New York, NY: ABC News/Nightline.

Resources4

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, Official Site:
This site offers educational materials, as well the legal work that has continued since genocide was officially defined in 1948. 
http://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/index.shtml

Yad Vashem, The International School for Holocaust Studies:
Yad Vashem offers an array of educational materials, digital photographs, and vignettes about victims of the Holocaust.  This site also highlights vignettes of “the Righteous,” individuals who risked their own lives or careers to save the persecuted. 
http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/education/index.asp
http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/education/international_projects/un_outreach_program/index.asp

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [UHMM]:
This site provides information not only on the Holocaust, but also other contemporary issues of genocide. Like Vad Yashem, UHMM offers a variety of lesson plans and curriculum materials to aid educators. http://www.ushmm.org/education/

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum:
This website, like the others, offers a plethora of resources for educators.  In addition to the curriculum background information about the camp, curriculum materials, and digital photography, this site highlights the work being undertaken to preserve the museum and the contents within it.  Take the time to navigate through the entire website, it is vast.
http://en.auschwitz.org/h/

Google Cultural Institute:
The following exhibits are listed in the order they appear along the interactive timeline.  The featured interactive exhibits provide photographs, commentary, and primary sources.  While only the exhibits related to the Holocaust are listed below, the timeline features other stories of genocide and discrimination:

Gensburger, S. (2012). They were children. Mairie de Paris. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=QRj3T1tV&position=0%2C-14

Geudj, N. (2012). Grandchildren of the righteous: Ambassadors of memory. Foundation France Israel.  Retrieved from
http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=gQu1bFgu&position=0%2C-1

Yad Yashem. (2012). The legacy of Antanas  Babonas. (I. Steinfeldt & G. Diamont, Curators). Yad Yashem.  Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=wQm-fJN8

Szkodzinska, D. (2012).) 1914-2000, Jan Karski: Humanity’s hero.  Polish History Museum.  Retrieved from at http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!asset-viewer:l.id=WgEHPjyKIluslA&exhibitId=QR_UaCtP

Anne Frank House. (2012). Anne Frank. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=wQi4lSIy&position=0%2C-1

Yad Yashem. (2012). H.F. Graebe: Rescuer and witness. (I. Steinfeldt, Curator). Yad Yashem.  Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=wQnN2MtE&position=0%2C-1

Yad Yashem. (2012). The fate of the children of the Marais. (I. Steinfeldt & G. Diamont, Curators). Yad Yashem.  Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=gRzskl5h&position=0%2C-1

Yad Yashem. (2012). 19 kilometers from Auschwitz:  The story of the Jewish community of Trzebinia, Poland.  (I. Steinfeldt & E. Neumann, Curators). Yad Yashem.  Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=QQeD6yMk

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. (2012). Before they perished… (A. Juskowiak-Sawicka & M. Martyniak, Curators). Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=QRNJBGMI&position=0%2C-14

Yad Yashem. (2012). The Auschwitz album. (D. Porath & E. Neumann, Curators). Retrieved from http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!exhibit:exhibitId=QQeexYJ4

1 The author would like to thank her colleagues Alicia Ballé and Lis Christiansen for their contributions, suggestions, and critical feedback on this article.

2 Jensen, Kimberly J. is pursing her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at Seattle Pacific University. She is currently teaching high school history and English at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington. Her daily practice and research studies focus on how academic discussion and metacognitive, reflective practices can enhance classroom engagement and increase student achievement.

3 If Auschwitz Death Camp is not available for viewing, there are a variety of websites dedicated to Holocaust education.  Many of these sites provide digital photographs of the thousands of shoes taken from the deportees as they were processed through the camps.  Consider using the website Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum: Preserving Children’s Shoes.  Another source is The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Use the search box and type in “shoes”: an array of digital pictures will result.  See “Resources.”

4 All these resources are available in Russian as well.

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