American History and the Holocaust

January 16, 2013

Currently in American History II, which would include mostly sophomores this year, we are discussing World War II and the Holocaust. Some may argue that technically the Holocaust is not a part of American History, however it does play a significant role with America's involvement in World War II. We have spent the last four days discussing what steps were put into place in Germany for the holocaust to begin. As we progress through our discussion, students were exposed to actual testimony, documents, pictures, stories, and numerous eye witness accounts from both survivors and perpetrators. It is important that students get exposed to both sides of the story to understand the different ideals. As part of their ongoing assignment, the students are working on a reflection journal, that is often directed with questions, videos, and their own thought throughout their study. Resources used in the classroom, include United States Holocaust museum, SHOAH foundation, history channel, and numerous books. In our discussion of survival, we discuss popular books and movies on the holocaust, including The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, Schindler's List, The Dairy of Anne Frank, and Night.