Heroic actions of the Holocaust

During this period of home/remote learning, this resource has been designed for use by your student as self-directed study, although you also could teach/mediate the lesson via an online platform.

The materials speak directly to students of 14-16-year olds who have some foundational knowledge of the Holocaust. They can be used to deepen learning in RE, Citizenship and History subjects. The lesson examines heroic actions of individuals who, at great risk to their own safety, reached out to rescue or help Jewish people from almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis during WW2. The lesson will provide case studies of different individuals and situations across Europe and invites students to contemplate many important questions about community, responsibility, and individual choice.

The lesson can help students appreciate that even in the darkest of times the human spirit can triumph, and remarkable acts of compassion can shine through. Although it is neither helpful nor appropriate to draw direct parallels between the Holocaust and the current pandemic which we are fighting today, examples of ordinary people putting other people’s care above themselves can resonate and inspire. This can therefore assist students think and discuss the situation and what ‘humanness’ can be, even when compassion may appear all but lost. The final output for students, in light of their study of heroic actions during the Holocaust is to create a mantra for our time. UCL Centre for Holocaust Education would be pleased to receive a photo or tweet of a selection of the mantras or work produced, and to showcase students’ efforts on our website, send via @UCL_Holocaust.

Case Studies


Lesson Plan