Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER
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Part One, Page Two

SECTION 1: (00:00-16:57)

I think that I’m here today and the kind of person I am is due to my very early upbringing in Jasvene.

DEMOCRACY
A type of government run directly by the people or by their elected representatives. Democratic societies usu­ally have periodic elections in which all adult citizens are encouraged to vote for representatives from competing political parties. Democratic societies protect the rights of minorities and guarantee equal rights and opportunities for all citizens.TOLERANCE
An active acceptance of and appreciation for a wide range of personal, social, cultural, and religious prac­tices, particularly when such practices differ from one’s own. Tolerance is an attitude that perceives diversity as a positive social good and is expressed in behaviors that protect the rights of all people.

YIDDISH
A European Jewish language written in Hebrew characters. The language began to develop about 1100 years ago in the area where France and Germany meet and contains vocabulary from those two languages and the Slavic languages that Jews encountered. Yiddish uses many Hebrew words, especially those dealing with Jewish daily life and legal issues. Yiddish was a common language among Jews in all European lands and, once Jews had immigrated to America, in this country, too. The Holocaust destroyed most European speakers of Yiddish, along with their established customs and culture.

EINSATZGRUPPEN
Killing squads comprised primarily of SS officers that flanked the German army as it invaded Eastern Europe. First organized in 1939, the Einsatzgruppen were used in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The SS membership of the squad was supplemented by volun­teers from Eastern Europe and by Germany’s police and army units. It is estimated that the Einsatzgruppen killed between 1.5 and 2 million Eastern European Jews.

SLABODKA
“Slabode” is a Slavic term for “foreigner.” In medieval towns, people from other places-such as traders from Italy or Germany and Jews-lived in areas called “Slabodka. ” In some cases the Jewish section was closed at night and locked by city officials. “Slabodka” is the Yiddish term for the section of Kovno otherwise known as Vilijampole. Slabodka had been home to Jews for hundreds of years and was the seat of several important religious schools.

KEY POINT: The connection of Judy’s story to the Bakers’ establishes several key themes in the film: the importance of individual rights in democratic societies; the principles of tolerance, respect, and responsibility as essential components of democracies; and the responsibility each of us has to object to behavior that violates democratic principles. The Baker incident and Judy’s own story as a Holocaust survivor illustrate how extreme situations bring out character traits in individuals that either uphold or violate democratic values.

VIEWING OBJECTIVES

  • To understand the universal themes of tolerance, respect, and responsibility that motivated Judy to act on behalf of the Bakers and to tell her story. To understand the connection between Judy’s values as an American citizen and her past as a Jew in Europe during the Holocaust.
  • To understand how political and legal systems shape individual choices.
  • To increase students’ knowledge of the geography of Europe during World War II.
  • To inform students about the ghetto experience imposed on Jews during World War II.
  • To expand students’ understanding of Jewish European experience before and during the Holocaust.

“My family life was deeply rooted in Judaism.”

Lighting of Shabes candles marks the formal beginning of the Jewish Sabbath on Friday evening, usually prior to a Sabbath meal. They are lit in honor of the Sabbath but also as a symbol of the holiness of the day of rest.
Lighting of Shabes candles marks the formal beginning of the Jewish Sabbath on Friday evening, usually prior to a Sabbath meal. They are lit in honor of the Sabbath but also as a symbol of the holiness of the day of rest.