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Teacher Resource Guide for The Courage to Remember

Curriculum for The Courage to Remember
You will find in this resource guide, many useful and informative activities and black line masters to design lessons on the Holocaust using The Courage to Remember virtual exhibit.

WHY THE JEWS? Patterns of Persecution
   Panels 12 & 3

THE "JEWISH QUESTION": Nazi Policy 1933-1939
   Panels 4, 5, 6 & 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213

   Panels 14, 1516 17 & 18, 19, 20, 21

   Panels 22, 23, 24 & 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 & 32, 33, 34, 35

BITTERNESS AND HOPE: The Legacy of the Holocaust
   Panels 36, 37, 38 & 39, 40

   Language Arts
   Social Studies
   Personal Development
   Oral History Assignment   
   Writing Projects


WHY THE JEWS? Patterns of Persecution
"Moreover, we do not know to this day which devil has brought them [Jews] here . . . like a plague, pestilence, pure misfortune in our country."

Martin Luther

About the Jews and Their Lies, 1543

Despite 2,000 years of continuous residence, Europes Jews were rarely given complete citizenship status in their own countries. Their social and religious distinctiveness made them persistent targets for economic, social and personal persecution. The increased participation of the Jews in the economic and social life of 19th and 20th century industrial Europe intensified anti-Semitism. The Nazi policy of racial hatred amplified and manipulated these patterns of persecution, ultimately adding one deadly tenetthat all Jews must be eliminated.

Panel 1

Fill in the blanks using the pictures and text.

  1. The dates of the Holocaust were from ___________ to ______________.
  2. During that time ______________ million Jews and millions of others were murdered.
  3. The Nazi policy of ________________ _______________ moved with relentless cruelty.
  4. Root causes of the Holocaust persist. They are _________________ hatred, ______________ crises, _______________ psychological and ______________ flaws.
  5. Identify or explain at least 3 significant items from the archival photograph that opens this exhibit.
  1. ______________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________

Panels 2 & 3

  1. Jewish communities existed continuously in Europe for ___________ years.
  2. Their social and religious distinctiveness made them persistent targets for _____________________.

This persecution only intensified the cohesiveness of the Jewish community.

THE "JEWISH QUESTION": Nazi Policy 1933-1939

"So I believe that I act in the spirit of the Almighty God: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord".

Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf, 1924

As the international economic crisis of the Great Depression spread in the early 1930s, the Nazis fed on the discontent of the lower and middle classes of Germany. Most German voters who brought the Nazis to power assumed their extremism would be tempered by the responsibility and compromise necessary to govern. They were mistaken.

Jews lost their jobs, their citizenship, and all civil rights. When war broke out in 1939, escape was almost impossible. The "Final Solution", the murder of all Jews, became the next phase of Nazi policy.

Panels 4, 5, 6 & 7

  1. Nazi propaganda systematically sought to manipulate mass opinion and eliminate opposition. This propaganda promoted local hatred and encouraged violations of human, civil and political rights. List 3-5 specific examples where the Nazis demonstrated local hatred or violated human, civil or political rights of their citizens.
  1. ____________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________
  5. ____________________________________________
  1. Select a picture from one of the Panels that illustrates racial hatred. What photograph was the most memorable to you and why? Describe the situation in the photograph.

Panel # ___________.

Panel 8

  1. From the beginning, concentration camps were an integral feature of Nazi rule. Name the camp which was established in Germany, March of 1933, __________________. In addition to the Jews, list 5 other groups of people who were imprisoned in this camp, which became the model for other camps.
  1. ___________________________________________
  2. ___________________________________________
  3. ___________________________________________
  4. ___________________________________________
  5. ___________________________________________

Panel 9

  1. In 1933 after the initial wave of Nazi anti-Semitic violence, a panic swept the German-Jewish Community and _____________ people fled. However, many European countries did not accept these Jewish emigrants. As the Nazi Empire expanded throughout Europe, these immigrants found themselves under Nazi rule again.

Panel 10

  1. To ensure the poverty of the Jewish immigrants, laws were passed throughout Europe in 1938. List 2 4 of these laws.
  1. ____________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________

Panel 11

  1. Angered over the expulsion of his Polish Jewish family from Germany, 17-year-old ________________________________ shot a German diplomat in Paris. The Germans seized this as an opportunity for revenge against the Jews in Germany. Jesof Goebbles, the propaganda minister, coordinated a night of anti-Semitic terror known as Kristallnact or "Night of __________________".
  2. List 3 actions the Nazis took against the Jewish population on the night of November 9, 1938.
  1. ______________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________

Panel 12

  1. Faced with poverty and sometimes starvation, tens of thousands of German Jews fled. List 5 places where the refugees went.
  1. ______________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________
  4. ______________________________________________
  5. ______________________________________________

Panel 13

  1. Racial purity was at the core of Nazi ideology. Systematically, individuals who did not fit the Nazis narrow definition of perfection were eliminated in the special liquidation centers. Nazi ideology targeted the mentally or physically ________________ people, often resulting in _____________________ or mercy killing.


"In our scroll of agony, not one small detail can be omitted ... we are now undergoing terrible tribulations and the sun has grown dark for us at noon "

Chiam A. Kaplan

The Warsaw Diary, 26 October 1939

With the outbreak of war on September 1, 1939, any constraint Hitler or the Naiz felt toward the treatment of the Jewish people was eliminated. Mass executions, starvation, and death n the ghettos, torture, and other atrocities were the common pattern along the eastern front.

The period 1939 1941 was one of planning and experimentation in preparation for the "Final Solution." By midsummer of 1941, Germany controlled most of Europe and millions of Jews were trapped in Nazi Control. On July 31, 1941, Hermann Goring ordered Reinhard Heydrich to make "all necessary preparations with regard to organizational, substantive, and financial viewpoints for a total solution of Jewish question in German-occupied Europe."

Panel 14

  1. From 1939-1941, Western Europe was not an area of mass murder of the Jews. But rather, foreign and native Jews in the occupied territories were subjected to registration, segregation, and isolation. These steps later led to deportation and murder. Name 3 countries occupied by the Germans as they extended the war into Western Europe.
  1. ________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________

Panel 15

  1. In Eastern Europe the Nazi party found the ideal arena for mass murder of European Jews because of the following:
  1. ____________________________
  2. neutral observers were removed,
  3. local populations were traditionally hostile to the Jews, and
  4. the killings could be camouflaged as part of the war effort.

In Warsaw, Poland, the Nazi party created a walled ghetto and focused on the elimination of the Polish intellectual elite. The nazi also liquidated the old, the young, and the weak, leaving the "work" Jews.

Panels 16, 17 & 18

  1. In Eastern Europe the Nazis forced the Jewish population into isolated wall ghettos. List 4 conditions about ghetto life shown in these photographs.
  1. _______________________________________
  2. _______________________________________
  3. _______________________________________
  4. _______________________________________

Panel 19

  1. In 1940 the Germans moved into Western Europe. Unable to find the ideal conditions for mass murder (see panel 15 comments). List 2-3 ways the Nazis continue the elimination process of the Western European Jews?
  1. ___________________________________
  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________

Panel 20

  1. List the countries that the Nazis controlled by 1941.

______________________ ________________________

______________________ ________________________

______________________ ________________________

______________________ ________________________

______________________ ________________________

______________________ ________________________

Panel 21

  1. Even under the worst conditions imaginable, the Jews were able to maintain their culture. Give 3 examples.
  1. _______________________________________
  2. _______________________________________
  3. _______________________________________


"At Auschwitz, I used Zyklon B . . . It took from 3 to 15 minutes to kill the people in the death chamber, depending on the climatic conditions. We know the people were dead because their screaming stopped."

Rudolph Hoss

International Military Tribunal

Nuremberg, 1946

In the spring of 1941, the Nazis were poised to invade the western Soviet Union-home of 5 million Jews. The opportunity to carry out the "Final Solution", the total destruction of European Jewish life and culture, was now within reach.

By 1945, 6 million Jews were dead. Political dissidents, members of the resistance, prisoners of war, Gypsies, and homosexuals were also systematically murdered by the Nazis.

The "Final Solution" was consciously planned and implemented. Mechanical, technological, and bureaucratic, it was a coldly executed and deadly efficient system for mass murder carried out with the help of thousands of civil servants, soldiers, railroad employees, policemen, clerks, industrialists ordinary people.

Panel 22

  1. The Nazi intent was total ______________________ of the Jews; resistance fighters in the ghettos prepared:
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________

Panels 23, 24 & 25

  1. The Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing squad, followed the invading troops into the Baltic region to implement Hitlers goal of total elimination of the Jewish population. Local citizens were encouraged to murder Jews and seize their property. The photographs are illustrations of the mass murders or the killing pits. Compare the photographs of the Nazi officers and the Jewish citizens. What is your reaction?
  2. The Wannsee Conference in 1942 convened to discuss the administrative policies for the "Final Solution", the shipment and death incapable of slave labor. After viewing the panels, list 2 conditions/methods for the mass-murders which were to be carried out by ordinary people, civil servants, railroad employees, clerks, industrialists, and soldiers?
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________

Panel 26

  1. The Warsaw Ghetto Revolt lasted for ________________ weeks. What Nazi action ended that revolt?

Panel 27

  1. In addition to the Jews, list 2 other groups of people slated to be eliminated by the Nazis.
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  1. After viewing panel 27, list 2 conditions found in camps or on trains.
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________

Panel 28

  1. In a sinister scheme to cover up the mass murders of European Jews, the Nazis developed the model camp of Therisienstadt [Prague, Czechoslovakia]. List 3 groups the Nazis tried to deceive by this propaganda campaign?
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________

Panel 29

  1. For those not immediately executed, the cycle of the day in a concentration camp was work, hunger, and pain in the shadow of the sadistic violence of guards. However, brutal and dehumanizing, the concentration camp systems main product was _______________________. For those fit to work, their misfortune was ___________________ labor, where murder occurred through work.

Panel 30

  1. Despite the condition in the camps, the human imagination found expression in art and poetry. List 5 adjectives or phrases which describe your reaction to the artwork on panel 30.
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________
  4. __________________________________________
  5. __________________________________________

Panels 31 & 32

  1. Auschwitz-Birkenau, "half hell, half lunatic asylum", was the largest death factory where 2 million Jews were put to death between 1942 and 1944. By what means were the executions and disposal of remains accomplished? List 3-4.
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________
  4. __________________________________________

Panel 33

In November 1944, the Auschwitz gas chambers were __________________.

Panel 34

  1. While world leaders, popes, presidents and prime ministers remained silent on the fate of millions, these courageous individuals risked their lives to shelter the persecuted. What role did Raoul Wallenburg play in liberating Hungarian Jews?

Panel 35

  1. Liberation did not guarantee freedom. What actions typified the last days of Nazi terror? List 3.
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________

BITTERNESS AND HOPE: The Legacy of the Holocaust

"Never think there is an easy way to make an end to such bitter memories. Only know that hope lives when people remember."

Simon Wiesenthal

Survivors of the Holocaust had to rebuild their lives and their very reasons for living; so much was shattered by the Holocaust.

The Jewish people had lost a vital core of their culture. The elders and rabbis, the culmination of thousands of years of tradition was gone. And the youth, the inheritors, were lost. The American and Israeli Jewish communities became the choice, hope, and future for most survivors.

Panel 36

  1. Over 35 million people died in WWII, over half of them were civilians.

1 out of every ________________ Russians was killed.

1 out of every ________________ Germans was killed.

1 out of every ________________ Italians was killed.

1 out of every ________________ Frenchmen was killed.

2 out of every ________________ European Jews was killed.

Panel 37

The Allied Forces warned the Nazi in 1943 that they would be held accountable for war crimes.

The Nuremberg Trials established the precedent of making military and civilian personnel responsible for their actions during the war. The world did not forget, nor did it forgive, these people for their crimes committed against humanity.

  1. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, U.S. Chief of Counsel, [Nuremberg, 1945] stated that, "They [Nazis] are living symbols of racial ________________________, of terrorism and ____________________, and of the arrogance and cruelty of _______________________________.
  2. Despite the efforts of Simon _____________________ and others, decades would pass before the worlds attention would again focus on bringing Nazi war criminals to ________________________.

Panels 38 & 39

  1. By the end of the war, there were 10,000,000 "D.P.", displaced persons, with problems of reestablishing shattered lives and finding homes. Despite the smiles in the photographs, newly freed people confronted numerous problems. List 3-5 problems faced by those freed from concentration camps.
  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________
  4. __________________________________________
  5. __________________________________________

Panel 40

  1. Mans inhumanity to man is so evident in the exhibit.
  2. There were 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust. What are these child survivors showing you and asking you to remember?

  3. The ashes and unmarked graves of all of the victims have created a sacred ground from which human hope, tolerance, and ___________________ will rise.

Now that you have viewed this exhibit, explain what is ment by the title, "THE COURAGE TO REMEMBER?"



Extension and Enrichment Activities



  1. Encourage students to research their family heritage. Suggest that students do family interviews, locate documents, list awards, collect family photos and write about family traditions. (Make sure students receive permission for this project.)
  2. What new knowledge or change of attitude have you gained from viewing the exhibit?
  3. Instruct students to write a brief synopsis of the exhibit.
  4. How do common problems unite people? Write about a problem at school, and tell how students and teachers can untie to solve it.
  5. Design a crossword puzzle utilizing terms or ideas from the panels and student activity sheets.
  6. What was the most interesting aspect of the Holocaust? Why?



  1. If a law is perceived as unjust, what are appropriate ways to change it? Students should discuss the ways to influence both local and federal laws, e.g., petition, referendum, recall, town meetings, etc.
  2. Hitler planned to destroy the Jews. Additionally, he planned to oppress all non-Aryan people; this would have included many whites. Have students discuss how his attitude toward power transcended the issue of skin color. What are the attitudes that create todays prejudices?
  3. Instruct the students to list the important events of the world/Europe/United Stated that took place during the Holocaust (1933-1945). A time-line format might be helpful.
  4. Jewish artists designed political art for use as Nazi propaganda. Privately, they sketched pictures of the true events. Let students examine the use of political propaganda today. (Political cartoons). Have the students create a political cartoon about a current controversial issue.
  5. During the Holocaust people were smuggled into Palestine. Ask students to read about the period after WWII and the Jewish resettlement. Have them read and report about the founding of the state of Israel.
  6. Instruct students to do research on Yom Hashoa, the Jewish holy day commemorating the Holocaust. What Yom Hashoa services do your local synagogues have?


Discussion Topics:

  1. Can a person be convinced to do things by peer pressure? How did peer pressure influence behavior in Nazi controlled territory? Have students site examples of peer pressure today.
  2. Role play: Have one student play a Nazi soldier and the other a Jew. Instruct them to debate the issue of duty vs. morality.
  3. Risk-taking: Discuss the consequences a person had to consider before risking his life to help the Jews.
  4. Taking the lives of civilians/non-combatants became routine for the Nazis. Why do you think that it became easy to murder? Students should consider why/how civilized people could become involved in genocide.
  5. Nazis sold special radios called "people receivers" (Volkesmpfanger) to the masses. Except in border provinces, the radios picked up only radio signals from German stations. Why?

Discuss how public views would be controlled today if only one side of a story were reported.


  1. Your interview selectee should be a person who lived through WWII and has some very specific memories of that time period. You must feel comfortable about your selection. Preparation for the interview will guarantee success.
  2. Review your Language Arts text about conducting an interview.
  3. Call your subject and arrange a meeting time.
  4. Do your research on the war and prepare your interview questions. There are several books in the library on taking an oral history.
  5. Arrange to take a tape or video camera with you, if you desire. Clear this with your interview selectee first.
  6. Be prepared to take notes.
  7. Keep eye contact with your subject and remember to encourage them to speak of their experiences. Let them talk.
  8. Be courteous. Thank the person that you have interviewed for their time and efforts. Make arrangements for follow-up questions if they become necessary.
  9. Prepare a five minute oral presentation to teach us what you have learned through this interview about WWII and your interviewee. You might want to use a small potion of your tape to illustrate a point in your presentation.


The Diary of Anne Frank

Imagine that it is the year 1955, ten years after the end of WWII. You are to give an update on the lives of the inhabitants of the Secret Annex. If you choose, you may focus on the life of a single character. There are many clues in the play that you have read about the future lives of the characters. You will select the format of the presentation. It could be an interview, a letter, etc. You must add narrative details by doing some research on the 1950s. What was happening in the news; what were people listening to on the radio or watching on tv? Remember that Anne was a fan of the movies and had a collection of star photos.

Personal Reaction to Night by Elie Wiesel

For ten years after the war ended, Wlie Wiesel could not speak or write about his personal experiences as an inmate in the Nazi concentration camp system. Today, he is the voice of the Holocaust survivors, a man with a message of witness and remembrance. Write an essay explaining what you will remember about his book Night and about Elies witness.


This curriculum is available in the following formats:

note:To view and print the Acrobat format, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader

Created by and developed for The Holocaust Center of the United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

By Linda F. Hurwitz, Director & BLT Consultants
  Bonnie Harshbarger
  Lina Pascila
  Terry Philips
  of Harrison Middle School - Pittsburgh, PA

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