Teacher Resource Guide

Teacher Resource Guide HomeAnti-Semitism  Hitler's Rise — Prewar Nazi Germany

The HolocaustResisters BystandersRemembering

BY LINDA SCHER / N.C. Council on the Holocaust
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Teacher Resource Guide Preface

These lessons have been provided by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust. These lessons are from the book The Holocaust: A North Carolina Teacher’s Resource. For more information, please see the N.C. Council on the Holocaust online by clicking here

I am pleased to provide an introduction for The Holocaust: A North Carolina Teacher’s Resource, and to be able to offer my personal thoughts on the lessons we must learn and teach from this most tragic event.

We are living in a time when our children far too often are exposed to news broadcasts showing incidents of violence stemming from intolerance or hate. We must not allow such occurrences to become acceptable norms in our society. As educators, parents, and citizens we must work together to create a climate of cooperation, to reduce prejudice, and to assure equitable treatment for all. This guide is an excellent educational tool to help accomplish these goals. 

Citizenship and civic participation are cherished traditions in North Carolina. The teachers of our state work hard to instill in our students an appreciation and respect for these traditions. Students must learn the importance of strong character, honest public debate, and listening with respect to the opinions of others. Civic education for our students also emphasizes the responsibility that comes with citizenship. We must guard against the denial of legal or civil rights to any segment of society. I want North Carolina to be a leader in guaranteeing full and equal rights to all of its citizens. I want our students to speak out when they believe the civil rights of others have been abused and to recognize fully the dangers of failing to speak out against prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance.

— Dr. Michael E. Ward, 2002 State Superintendent of Public Instruction, NC Dept. of Public Instruction

About the Guide

Holocaust SurvivorsNow as in the past Gizella’s tireless commitment to educating others about the Holocaust has been an inspiration. Judith Tulchin and the late Dr. Lawrence Rudner, both of whom contributed greatly to the creation of the first edition of this guide, continue to deserve thanks for their hard work and dedication to Holocaust education. Special thanks go to Dr. Gerhard Weinberg. It was a great honor to have such a distinguished Holocaust scholar provide a careful reading and editing of the guide for this new edition. Over the years Dr. David Crowe, Dr. Karl Schleunes, and Professor Joseph Hoffman have given generously of their time and talents to make the teacher education workshops possible. Designer Sandra Webbere’s professionalism and artistic expertise made her a joy to work with.

Special thanks go to the members of the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust who served as reviewers for this revision of the guide. Dr. Michael Bassman, Shelly Weiner, and Maxine Smith were especially helpful. The revision greatly benefited from teacher Christine Wigg’s ten years of experience teaching the lessons in this guide to the students in her eighth-grade Advanced English class at Southern Nash Junior High School in Spring Hope, North Carolina. Several of her students were also especially diligent in providing feedback. They include Mary Sipes, Jonathan Smith, Colt Robbins, Ashley Braswell, and Crystal Taylor. Perceptive advice came from Social Studies consultants Doug Robertson and Jeanne Weavil-Haney at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Outstanding educators and administrators Steve Harvel and Dr. Arnold Sgan have continued to be enthusiastic supporters, offering sound advice and always constructive criticism. Teacher Lori Lichtenwalner also provided many practical suggestions for improving the guide. Professor Joe Hoffman, University Fellow in German and Modern Jewish History at George Washington University, offered a prompt, careful, and thorough reading for historical accuracy. As always, copyeditor Pat Silva applied her keen eye to the manuscript. 

My parents, Harold and Paula Scher, not only supported and encouraged this project, but also taught their children pride in their own traditions and respect for the traditions of others. 

The North Carolina Council on the Holocaust wishes to acknowledge the generous gift of Tobee and Leonard Kaplan to the Toleo Foundation which helped make publication of this guide possible. We are very grateful for their interest in our work. We are equally grateful for the support we received from State Superintendent Dr. Michael Ward and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for the reprinting of this guide.   2002

The Council also wishes to express its appreciation to UNC-TV (UNC Center for Public Broadcasting) for uploading this guide on its website in 2005, making it available to many more North Carolina teachers. Special thanks go to James McGurk, UNC-TV Promotions Manager, and Liz Bowles, UNC-TV Digital Media Editor.

Using the Guide

Teaching about the Holocaust is often limited by teacher’s familiarity with the subject and the amount of time available for this topic. The materials in this guide were designed with these concerns in mind. The guide is divided into three main parts: Overviews, Lesson Plans, and student Handouts. The guide also contains a Holocaust time line, glossary of key terms, and bibliography.

The seven Overviews in this guide provide short summaries of topics related to the Holocaust. Teachers can summarize these mini-lectures for students or share them with more able readers. In the Overviews, unfamiliar words are printed in bold to indicate that the term is defined in the Glossary. Each Overview provides an historical context and background information for teaching the lessons it precedes.

Lesson Plans
Each lesson examines a topic discussed in an Overview. Depending on the amount of time available for each topic and the course in which it is taught, a teacher might use all or two or three of these lessons. Each lesson plan contains a list of handouts needed to teach the lesson, new vocabulary, and suggestions for teaching. The lessons conclude with ideas for enrichment activities that connect the study of the Holocaust to other areas of curriculum.

Each lesson contains one or more handouts for students. Most are primary source documents: interviews with North Carolina survivors, original newspaper accounts of events in Germany, speeches by Nazi officials, and testimony from the Nuremberg Trials. At the middle school level, teachers may want to read some of the handouts aloud or tape record and replay them. Interviews with North Carolina survivors or Nazi officers work especially well as oral presentations.

Time Line, Glossary, Bibliography
The back of the book contains the poem “The Hangman,” suggested for use with Lesson Two and a Holocaust time line. The Glossary consists of terms introduced in the Overviews or the lessons. The guide concludes with an annotated Bibliography of books and audiovisual materials.

Published in cooperation with the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust
Copyright © 2002 by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust. Updated 2005.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction