Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

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Part One, Page Six

SECTION 1: (00:00-16:57)


“That incident with the Bakers— it made an incredible mark on me. I knew that I had to tell my story. At that point I became involved.”

  1. Reflection
    Ask students to write their responses to the opening section of the film. Students can respond to the Viewing/Discussion questions, or they can write about the sensory imagery in this portion of Tak for Alt that most strongly affects them. This writing activity will enhance their awareness of the following motifs that structure Part 1 of the documentary:

      • The sounds of breaking glass as an aural link between the civil disturbances in the United States in 1963 and in Europe during WWII
      • The use of the Baker incident to frame Judy’s story
      • The use of gravestones as a visual anchor for Judy’s return to Jasvene, Lithuania

    Alvin Curran’s Crystal Psalms (a concerto written in memory of Kristallnacht and performed by musicians in six different nations simultaneously) would be an excellent accompaniment to this activity. Students could listen to the CD and write about what they feel while listening to it. The Additional Resources section at the end of the curriculum guide includes more information on Crystal Psalms.

  2. Research
    1. Jewish Cultural and Religious Life
      • To increase students’ understanding of Jewish cultural and religious practice, identify those aspects of Jewish cultural and religious life that Judy mentions in this part of the film, including Jewish life in the shred and specific rituals of Sabbath, such as lighting the candles and inviting guests for Sabbath dinner.
      • As a group, discuss how the Germans’ treatment of Lithuanian Jews in the Kovno ghetto involved the systematic restriction and disruption of Jewish ritual practices. Students may research specific aspects of Jewish life, such as mourning rituals for the dead, in order to understand the extent to which the Nazi occupation of European countries disrupted Jewish cultural and religious life.
      • Students can then discuss how attempts to maintain cultural and religious practices constitute a form of resistance to oppression.
    2. Jewish Ghetto Life
      • To build on the information about ghettos provided in Part I of Tak for Alt, students can use the Internet to investigate the number of ghettos created by the Nazis. Consult the Additional Resources section at the end of the curriculum guide for a list of web sites recommended for this and other web-based research activities related to the Holocaust. In small groups or as a whole class, students can create a large wall map locating the ghettos in Europe. This map can then be used as a visual reference during the viewing of the entire film. Teachers may refer to Appendix B for a map of major ghettos in occupied Europe.
      • To deepen their understanding of Jewish ghetto life, which could vary greatly from one ghetto to another, students can work in small groups to research one or two ghettos and make class presentations on the particular ghettos they researched. Such research can focus on the following aspects of ghetto life:social structure • cultural activities • family life • children • resistance
        ghetto administration (Jewish Council [Judenrat])
      • Following small group presentations, the entire class could then discuss how we see these aspects of ghetto life referenced or developed in Judy’s recollections of the Kovno ghetto.
  3. Journalistic Approach: Examining Discrimination Today
    • Have students look at recent newspapers and magazines to find reports of intolerance directed against individuals of particular races, ethnicities, beliefs, or lifestyles. See Appendix F in the curriculum guide for a recent newspaper report of such an incident that students can use for this exercise.
    • Students can work in small groups to identify similarities between examples of intolerance today and Judy’s experiences during World War II
    • Individual students could then write a report on a recent instance of intolerance, exploring the range of possible responses to the situation and explaining which responses would uphold the principles of universal tolerance, respect, and responsibility.