Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

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Introduction and Program Goals

The Holocaust Education Center at the War Memorial Museum is sponsored by the Hampton Roads Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. The mission of this study is to generate an understanding of how destructive prejudice and intolerance can be in society by studying World War II and the events of the Holocaust.

The study provides an educational experience through which students can develop an understanding of how the holocaust emerged from a progression of events. It also provides a basis from which students can draw conclusions about what society can learn from these events and how they relate to current events.

This booklet is designed to provide teachers with information and suggested activities that will help students participating in the Holocaust Education Program obtain the most from their program. It is divided into background information and pre- and post-visit activities. The information provided has been developed to support the program lecture while providing a vehicle to assist the teacher in student preparation. Post-visit activities have been designed to provide additional information sources and suggestions for teacher-led exercises.

The museum-based program consists of a guided tour, lecture, and role play activity. The guided tour will visit the Falsehoods in War, America at War, and Axis galleries. The lecture will provide an introduction, followed by an examination of Nazi symbolism, Adolph Hitler, the rise of the Nazi party, and the persecution of the Jews. The role play activity will entail a student participation exercise that emphasizes the selection process, concentration camp processing, special treatment, and camp existence. A conclusion will relate the study of the Holocaust to today A video will be shown to support the lecture material. Talks by local residents about their experiences in the Holocaust are available by special arrangement.

The in-school presentation includes the same components as the Museum session without the gallery tours and personal testimony. The program can contain a combination of any or all of the offered components, depending on the time available.

Program Goals

  1. To identify the economic, political, and social environment that allowed the Nazi party to assume control of Germany and create a repressive, militaristic society which led to World War II.
  2. To examine the concepts of Hitler’s Final Solution and the methods by which the Nazi government carried out its goals of world conquest and genocide.
  3. To teach the dangers of prejudice, intolerance, militarism, and totalitarianism.