A main concern for educators using audiovisual materials on the Holocaust is that graphic footage depicting people who are starved, tortured, or killed can be upsetting to viewers of all ages. Videotaped eyewitness testimonies often contain vivid descriptions of the horrors encountered by victims. When the horror is presented, it should be done in a judicious manner, and only to the extent necessary to achieve the objective of the lesson.
Teachers should remind themselves that each student and each class is different, and that what seems appropriate for one may not be for all. Students are a “captive audience.” When educators assault them with images of horror for which they are unprepared, we violate a basic trust: the obligation of a teacher to provide a “safe” learning environment. The assumption that all students will seek to understand human behavior after being exposed to horrible images is fallacious. Some students may be so appalled by images of brutality and mass murder that they are discouraged from studying the subject further. Others may become fascinated in a more voyeuristic fashion, and subordinate further critical analysis of the history to the superficial titillation of looking at images of starvation, disfigurement, and death.
The following videos are available at the museum for short-term checkout. Educators may make arrangements by calling the Education Department at the museum. Please note that warnings are given for graphic material content in the video description.
1. Through Our Survivors Eyes – 1991, Richmond, Virginia. 25 minutes. Six survivors from the Richmond Jewish community talk about their experiences in the Holocaust. Graphic scenes.
2. The Death Camps – Black & White. 60 minutes. This is the official record of the death camps as photographed by Allied forces advancing into Germany. Many of these scenes were used in the Nuremburg trials. Graphic scenes.
3. The Diary of Anne Frank – Black & White, 1959, 151 minutes. A true tale of 8 brave people who hid in a cramped attic for 2 years in a desperate, determined effort to escape the Nazi horror. A moving study of human endurance coupled with an intimate account of a young girl growing into fragile womanhood.
4. Kristall Nacht – The Journey from 1938. 58 minutes. Excerpts from witnesses of “the Night of Broken Glass” and their experience during the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany.
5. Story of Remembrance 25 minutes. Several Tidewater residents who survived the Holocaust express their thoughts and feelings about their experiences.
6. Out of the Ashes – PBS series, “Heritage: “Civilization and the Jews.” 1 hour. An explanation of Jewish life in early 20th century Germany and the changes that occurred with the rise of Nazi Party and anti-semitism.
7. Sam Althaus 25 minutes, War Memorial Museum. Mr. Althaus answers questions from high school students about his experience as a survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp. 8. Night and Fog – France 1946, 30 minutes. Alain Resnais’ brilliant and disturbing documentary of the Nazi concentration camps. Actual footage of Nazi atrocities is edited into a surreal journey of horror. Resnais juxtaposes the quiet countryside with hell and death and creates the feeling of history’s worst nightmare. Graphic scenes. French: English subtitles.
Videos on Adolf Hitler
1. Death of Adolf Hitler – 1972, Lorimar Productions, 107 minutes. A movie chronicling Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 and subsequent demise in 1945.
2. Fatal Attraction – Part I. 60 min. Documentation of Hitler’s ability to sway the German people into believing his views, thus leading to his election and rise to power as dictator of Germany.
3. Triumph of the Will – 1933-1934, Leni Riefenstahl, 120 min. A German propaganda film glorifying the course Hitler was taking. Filmed during 1934 Nazi propaganda rallies in Nuremburg.
TABLE of CONTENTS
- Introduction and Program Goals
- Holocaust Background Information Holocaust Chronology
- Adolf Hitler: A Study in Tyranny
- The Swastika: A Sign of Good Luck Becomes a Symbol of Evil
- Lebensraum: Living Space for the German Race
- Translation of a Property Confiscation Order
- Auschwitz: The Camp of Death
- “Oh, No, It Can’t Be”
- In The Liberated Camps
- Pursuing the Killers
- Europe’s Displaced Millions
- Vocabulary List
- Questions on Hitler
- Swastika Questions
- Auschwitz Questions
- Oh, No, It Can’t Be – Questions
- Thinking it Over
- Holocaust Videography
- Holocaust Bibliography