Hartford Remembers the Holocaust
Notes for teachers to prepare students for visiting the exhibit at the University of Hartford
If we erase memories of events like the Holocaust, then it will be difficult to empathize with people today whose identity makes them vulnerable. One way to gain perspective is for students to read the accounts of those who experienced the Holocaust. That is why they are here at this museum. They have the opportunity to find out about six people who experienced the Holocaust and by understanding their stories, they will have a better idea of the choices and lack of choices these Holocaust survivors had and how governments and individuals reacted to them.
Before visiting the exhibit, it is suggested that students familiarize themselves with the online materials that correspond to this exhibit. Students should read the introduction to the exhibit. Here is the link: http://www.hartford.edu/a_and_s/greenberg/museum/hartford-remembers-holocaust/about.aspx
Then, students should read about and listen to the video testimonies of Ruth “Tutti” Fishman. This will give students a context for the exhibit and for her doll that is exhibited in the museum. In addition, they will know how to access the information if they need more time to listen to other video testimonies after their visit.
Have students consider the following questions as they listen to Tutti’s testimony:
● What will you remember most about her testimony?
● What is the importance of her doll?
● Why does she say that “the world hasn’t learned yet”?
Schools that sign up for the field trip will have two choices for visiting: 3 hour session that includes a presentation from a survivor and activities at the museum or a 2 hour session where students will visit the museum and participate in activities but have a survivor visit the school prior to/after the trip. For both options, students will be divided into three groups to experience the museum and engage in activities connecting the Holocaust to the refugee crisis today.
You will note that there are review questions for students to answer as well as journal reflection questions for every station. The journal reflections are meant for students to complete at home or back in their classroom. It is important that students have time to discuss and reflect while on site at the museum exhibit, therefore teachers should have discretion as to which parts of the worksheet should be completed on site.
Below is a link to some suggested materials for reading/viewing before you visit the museum. A variety of materials is available for both middle and high school students. It is recommended but not necessary for students to familiarize themselves with basic information about the Holocaust. Holocaust Resources
Finally, included at the end of this packet are suggestions for post field trip activities focused on the Syrian refugee crisis today. Students are encouraged to apply what they have learned about the Holocaust and use communication, collaboration and research skills to take informed action.
Hartford Remembers the Holocaust Holocaust Survivor Presentation (45 min presentation— 15 min Q and A) 3 hr visit Name of presenter: Age in 1940 Religion Nationality
After you hear the presentation, reflect on the following questions. What will you remember most? Story? Tone? Their demeanor? Feel? Information? Explain.
What shaped their identity the most?
Why would they tell that story? Why is this story important to them? Why is their story important to you and to all of us?
3Your question for the speaker:
Hartford Remembers the Holocaust Station A: Museum 40 minutes
All the people interviewed in this museum were children during the Holocaust. Their experiences were the foundation blocks of their lives today. At this station, students will ● see an introductory video, and then ● view the story of one of the other six survivors as depicted in the exhibit ● Have students complete the questions and use for reference in their journal reflections
While you watch the introductory video, think about why and how we remember. What percentage of Jews died in the six years from 1939-45? How many Holocaust survivors came to Connecticut? What is one lesson the survivors and their children want you to remember?
1. Find the exhibit of one other survivor you will read about. Collect the following information. Name Birth Date Country of Origin Religion
What one characteristic of their identity were most important to this person’s survival? Copy a quote to reinforce your answer. Characteristics of Identity: Nationality, Religion, Gender, Education, Political Beliefs, Skill, Family, Other
Characteristics of identity:
Students will complete for homework: How did reading about this individual survivor help you analyze and understand the Holocaust?
Activity (May be completed in the classroom) Give students a small rock to remember this exhibit. Have them draw words, phrases or image remind themselves of why this exhibit is important. Have students bring these back to the classroom to display. Use these to teach others about the importance of remembering the Holocaust.
Journal Reflection#1 May be completed by students after visiting the museum “Memory has become a sacred duty of all people of goodwill.” Elie Wiesel What did you learn about your survivor that you want to remember?
Hartford Remembers the Holocaust Station B: Identity and Empathy (40 minutes)
In this exercise students will think about their own identity and how their identity affects the way they experience history. Identity helps us understand what happened in a specific context; once we understand the context, we use that information to analyze what is happening today and then that gives us a path to act to make a difference today.
Give each student colored pencils or markers(red/green/blue/yellow) Give each student a grid of 12 identities. Explain to participants that you will use the pencils/markers to mark what is important to their identity. Read a statement to them. Students mark the box of their top three choices with the colors indicated below. Then, have students discuss their choices with one other student. Finally , have student pairs share their ideas with the larger group.
Questions for activity: 1. Which identities are most important to you?
RED/ORANGE/PINK 2. Which identities make you feel the most unsafe?
GREEN 3. Which identities make you feel the most safe?
BLUE 4. Which identities give you the most power and privilege?
YELLOW 6 Race/Ethnicity
Gender and Sexual Orientation
Possible Group debriefing questions: ● Are there any characteristics that should be added to this identity chart? Explain. ● Can some characteristics make us feel safe and unsafe at the same time? Explain. ● Which of these characteristics help to explain the different positions on the refugee crisis today? ● How does identity help to give us perspective about an event or time period? ● How does identity help to explain how bystanders and upstanders behaved in the Holocaust?
Debrief: Have students answer the following in their journals. This can be completed in the classroom or for homework.
Write what is important to you about your identity and why you think this is so.
What did you learn from this experience? Did anything surprise you about this activity?
How does your identity affect your actions and affect how people interact with you?
How does identity help you to understand historical events and current events? Give one example for each.
Journal Reflection #2 May be completed by students after visiting the museum and they have moved through all stations.
How does identity help us to understand the Holocaust, especially those who helped the child survivors? How does identity help us to understand the refugee crisis today?
Station 3 Refugees in the 30s and Today
Have students read the following excerpt.
Note:This may be used in the classroom prior to visiting the museum. Refugees Today As before and during the Holocaust, people flee when their lives and communities are at risk. The massive movement of populations is almost always a warning sign of genocide or the threat of genocide.
The Syrian civil war is the primary driver of the rapid, global increase in people displaced from atrocities and other forms of persecution over the past five years. As of the end of 2014, almost 60 million people have been displaced, the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II.
In addition to Syria, large numbers of displaced persons have fled atrocity crises in recent years in Somalia, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Burundi, among others. In Sudan’s western region of Darfur, for which the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum declared a Genocide Emergency in July 2004, hundreds of thousands of Darfurians fled across the border into Chad. Some two million more were displaced inside Darfur, while up to 400,000 perished from violence and the conditions of life inflicted on targeted groups.
The recognition of a moral failure in responding to Jews and others fleeing persecution before World War II, and the need to deal with the many people left displaced at war’s end, led to important international developments. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. In 1950, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created. And in 1951, the United Nations Convention on Refugees laid the foundation for the basic international obligation not to return people to countries where their life or freedom would be threatened, an obligation the United States accepted in 1968.
The Convention on Refugees defines a refugee as someone, who, ”owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside of the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his habitual residence, is unable or unwilling to return to it.” Under the terms of the Refugee Convention, refugees are guaranteed a wide range of civil and human rights, including freedom of association, the right of legal redress, and protection from discrimination.
These critical landmarks established the plight of refugees as a responsibility of the international community. They continue to shape policy today. Additionally, addressing the needs of “internally displaced persons”—who are not legally “refugees” because they have not crossed an international border—presents another complex challenge. The number and size of refugee crises in the world at any given time—as well as the expectations for aid—often exceed the international community’s capacity to respond. Whenever populations are at risk, there are those who attempt to flee to safer countries. Yet the problems surrounding adequate response in terms of protecting refugees’ rights, finding safe havens, and supplying aid in times of massive upheaval have not lessened with time. The protection of refugees and response to refugee crises are integral to genocide prevention efforts today.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum - Refugees Today https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007263
Step 1 Have students view the following videos to gain perspective about the comparison of refugees from the 1930’s to refugees today: ● The Rights of Refugees(3 min) ● A Willingness to Act-1930’s-Defying the Nazis (7 min) ● Refusing Passengers Aboard the St. Louis-What We Learned From This?(3 min)
Step 2 Finally, have students view the following maps(there are many-teachers should decide which one view) Flight of Refugees Around the Globe
Questions for Discussion: Have students discuss in groups and share with the class.
● How do people view refugees today? Identity 2 different points of view-use characteristics of identity to explain perspective. ● What are the similarities and differences to the way refugees were viewed in the 1930’s?
Journal Reflection #3 May be completed by students after visiting the museum and they have moved through all stations.
What responsibility do individuals (upstanders) have to respond to the needs of refugees? What an individual do to help?
Educators: Readings for further reference: A Refugee Crisis-Facing History Overcoming Fears and Spurring Action-Facing History Understanding the Global Refugee Crisis-Facing History The US Govt Turned Away Thousands of Refugees during WWII What Americans Thought of Jewish Refugees in WWII Plight of the Rohingya-USHMM The Rohingya Refugee Crisis-The Guardian National Geographic-Rohingya Refugee Crisis UNHCR-Joint Statement on Rohingya Refugee Crisis IRIS(Integrated Refugee and Immigration Service)- The Journey Collective Consciousness Theater (New Haven) Humans of New York-Refugees Salam Neighbor-Film
Hartford Remembers the Holocaust Post Field Trip: Informed Action Informed Action: ● What “small steps” can we take in our school and in our community to help respond to the Syrian refugee crisis?
Resources: Anne Frank Today is A Syrian Girl (NYT article) Would You Hide A Jew From the Nazis? (NYT article) Why Teaching About Syria Matters(teacher reference) Eyewitness Account-Refugees Today USHMM Bearing Witness-USHMM report on Syria The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained(video) (6 min) Syria’s Lost Generation USHMM(video) (7Min) Frontline: Children of Syria (PBS 54 min) I am Syria video (3 min) I am Syria website Now Project Syria website UNICEF Syrian Crisis Speak Truth to Power Video Contest - Rock Your World Student Projects
Classroom Setup: Students will need computers with access to the internet, poster paper for brainstorming questions, and their journals to write reflections on this lesson.
Have students view three videos on the Syrian refugee crisis: The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained( 6 min) Syria’s Lost Generation USHMM (7 min) I am Syria video (3 min)
Here is an additional video as a teacher reference from Frontline: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/children-of-syria/
Activity Students in groups will draw anchor charts about the Syrian refugee crisis. Charts should include as much info about the crisis today as well as compare the experiences of the refugees from the Holocaust to the refugees today. What are the similarities between the two time periods? What are the differences?
Part II Students in groups research the campaigns to help Syrian refugees. Here are a few of the sites that have resources and some activities for students: I am Syria website Now Project Syria website Bearing Witness-USHMM report on Syria Unicef Syrian Crisis
Activity Students then take the information from their anchor charts and create a PSA about the Syrian crisis today to be shared with the school and wider community, possibly through the local access channel.
Other options for educating the community include: -coordinate a panel discussion about the refugee crisis today -write opinion editorials to the local newspaper about the US government’s response to the refugee crisis -write a play about the plight of refugees today -write a poem about what it is like to be a child refugee -write a letter to a member of Congress or the President advocating for Syrian refugees -tell the story of a refugee family in your community -make a short film about the refugee crisis and what your community is doing to help
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
What lessons have you learned about refugees from the Holocaust that apply to the refugee crisis today? What is the responsibility of individuals, groups and governments to address human rights issues today?