- Encourages students to reflect on the importance of context
- Supports students as they consider diversity of experience and response
- Can help to build historical empathy and understanding of the ‘choiceless choices’ with which people were faced
How did Jewish people respond and resist during the Holocaust?
This classroom material comprises two one hour lessons. These two lessons work to establish secure knowledge and understanding of the range of responses expressed by Jews during the Holocaust. In doing so, they position Jewish people as having agency rather than as passive victims, and as people who resisted Nazi persecution when facing overwhelming odds, and ultimately genocide.
The first lesson focuses on crucial context when considering Jewish responses and resistance during the Holocaust. It aims to cover the huge challenges Jewish people were up against; wrestling with despair, grappling with the deception of the perpetrators, and battling the determined attempt to destroy Jewish families and centuries of culture and history. The concepts of despair, deception and destruction are an attempt to convey in a simple way the sheer, often insurmountable odds against survival people faced. The theme of families is also employed to help students explore the diversity of responses and reflect on the few choices available to different people in increasingly deleterious and desperate circumstances.
Using a series of case studies, and continuing with the story of Leon Greenman, the second lesson explores how and why people responded and resisted in the ways they did.
Download our PDF guidance notes