Teaching Holocaust and Genocide Using LiteraturePresentation Transcript
Using Literature Timothy Hensley Librarian Virginia Holocaust Museum
“ No human is more human than any other.”
UN Force Commander (Rwanda)
Chronology can be confusing
Genocide is not uniform
Themes make connections
Allows historic and literary tie-ins
Creates an interdisciplinary foundation
“ Us” versus “Them”
Two teenagers – one Jewish, one Nazi
Denial of rights
Part of Nazi book burnings
Separation based on race or religion
Bedzin ghetto in Poland
Defining which group is “better”
Demonstrates the brunt of Nazi policies
One group enslaves another
Used as slave labor
Any form of multiple murder
Witness to mass murder
Director of Education
Virginia Holocaust Museum
I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness.
Gas chambers built by learned engineers.
Children poisoned by educated physicians.
Infants killed by trained nurses.
Women and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates.
So I am suspicious of education.
My request is:
Help your students become human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmanns. Reading, writing, arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more humane.”
Credited to Hiam Ginot
Holocaust Education Addresses Issues the State of Virginia Deals With Every Year
A total of 249,321* students in the Commonwealth of Virginia committed a crime that had the potential to greatly affect another person
Virginia Department of Education, Annual Report Discipline, Crime, Violence 2006
11.5 Million people were killed in World War II
6 Million of them were Jews
1.5 Million of them were children
According to the 1993 census the total population of the state of Virginia was just over 6 million
Of the fifty United States only 17 states have mandatory Holocaust Education
Virginia is not one of them
US History, 1877 to the Present Day
World War II, taught a total of ten days*
One Day to Teach the Holocaust
World History, 1500 A.D. to the Present Day
One Day to Teach the Holocaust*
One Day to Teach the Holocaust*
VA DOE SOL Test Blueprints, Chesterfield County Pacing Guides
Three Strands :
Define the word
It wasn’t inevitable
There are no simple answers
Be precise (What is the definition of “resistance?”)
Don’t compare pain
People, not statistics
Place the Holocaust into the history
Never, never use simulations
(and while we are at it Cultural Landscapes)
Have no right or wrong
Cannot be looked up on the Internet
Bring depth to knowledge
Should be “talkable”
Should be “writeable”
What? Where? When? Why?
“ We ask our brave Hutu brothers not to let this crime go un-punished. Rise up, brothers! Rise up and go to work! Sharpen your tools, pick up your clubs! This race of cockroaches must be eradicated!” Who? What? When? Why?
“ We the undersigned clergymen are among those who, in January, issued “an appeal for law and order and common sense,” in dealing with racial problems in Alabama. We expressed understanding that honest convictions in racial matters could properly be pursued in the courts, but that decision of those courts should in the meantime be peacefully obeyed….”
Excerpt from public statement directed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose response was “Letter From the Birmingham Jail”
The University of Virginia was home to supporters of the science of eugenics. Above, Dr. H.E. Jordan who became Dean of the Department of Medicine at the University in 1939
A German passport issued to Siegfried Jacobsberg and stamped with the letter "J" for "Jude." Siegfried used this passport to escape to Shanghai in June 1939. [Photograph #25784] USHMM
How might other curricular areas teach Holocaust?
Eugenics, a pseudo-science of selective procreation, was a movement throughout the twentieth century, worldwide as well as in Virginia, that demonstrated a misuse of the principles of heredity.
Cultural Context and Art History
AII.13 The student will identify works of art and artistic developments that relate to historical time periods and locations.
AII.15 The student will identify and examine works of art in their historical context and relate them to historical events.
AII.17 The student will examine and discuss societal conditions that influence works of art.
AII.18 The student will identify the function and interpret the meaning of a work of art or an artifact in its original context.
AII.19 The student will describe symbols present in works of art in relation to historical meaning.
History Science English/LA Art Music Technology Holocaust Eugenics Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes Hollerith Computer History English/LA Art Music Tec Holocaust Genocide Salvaged Pages Zapruder Teasdale Dunbar Art as Diary http://www.shoaheducation.com/ Music As Diary http://www.shoaheducation.com/
History English/LA Art Music Holocaust The Drowned and the Saved “ The Grey Zone” by Primo Levi Guernica, Picasso Billy Joel, Shades of Grey
History Science English/LA Art Technology Does the inventor always know the result of his or her creation? Genetics Frankenstein, Shelly Inventions - Computers History Science English/LA Art Technology What is the effect of evil on creativity? Ethics Friedrich, Richter They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky , Benson Deng Guernica , Picasso Inventions -Hollerith Computer -Air War
There Will Come Soft Rains
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
We Wear the Mask
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)
We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile; But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
German children watch as a synagogue in Kuppenheim, Baden Germany, burns during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. November 10, 1938. Photo credit: Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives