Junior High School Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan for “Rescued from the Holocaust”
The Play “Rescued from the Holocaust”

From JUNIOR SCHOLASTIC April 27, 1998, Teacher’s and Student’s Editions.
Copyright © 1998 by Scholastic Inc. Used by permission of the publisher.
These materials are designed for Junior High school.

(Access related Varian Fry classroom materials)


OBJECTIVES
After reading the play, students should understand:

  • how Varian Fry rescued people in Vichy France during World War II; and
  • the difficulties and dangers Fry faced.

TEACHING STRATEGY
Present and discuss this scenario: Early in World War II, while the U.S. is neutral, you are asked to go to Europe to help people, mostly Jews, escape from the Nazis. How would you proceed? What skills would you look for in helpers? Explain.

BACKGROUND
During World War II many non-Jews risked their lives to try to save Jewish people. Some, such as Miep Gies (who hid Anne Frank), Oskar Schindler, and Raoul Wallenberg are well known. Many others may never be known.

KEY TERMS
Passport: A document issued by a country to show that a person is a citizen and may travel to other countries.
Visa: Permission, often attached to a passport, for a person to enter a country.

THINKING SKILLS

  • Comprehension: Who was Varian Fry and what did he do? (an American and anti-Nazi American journalist, sent by the Emergency Rescue Committee to Vichy. France, in 1940 to rescue about 200 artists and intellectuals who were likely to be sent to Nazi concentration camps)
  • Finding causes: What made Fry’s mission difficult? (By obtaining false documents, planning escape routes, and recruiting helpers, Fry risked being captured and/or killed by the Nazis.)

NOTE
The Emergency Rescue Committee mentioned in the play is now the International Rescue Committee. It helps refugees around the world.

RESOURCES

  • Fry, Varian, Assignment: Rescue (Scholastic, 1997).
  • Multimedia kit, including a video, Fry’s autobiography, study guide, and teaching guide (Videotransform Inc., 2450 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303, 800-253-7678. $24.95 +$5 S/H).
  • Varian Fry Foundation Project: www.almondseed.com/vfry

Quick Quiz

VARlAN FRY/THE HOLOCAUST:
Write the letter of the correct answer on the line before each sentence.

__ 1. Early in World War II, Germany set up a puppet government in (a) Madrid, Spain; (b) Moscow, Russia; (c) Rome, Italy; (d) Vichy, France.

__ 2. Varian Fry was sent to France by the (a) Emergency Rescue Committee; (b) Red Cross; (c) United Nations; (d) U.S. State Department.

__ 3. Fry had to avoid being caught by French police and (a) Jewish refugees; (b) the Gestapo; (c) passport smugglers; (d) U.S. diplomats.

__ 4. Many of the people Fry helped were (a) artists and intellectuals; (b) Jewish; (c) Nazi sympathizers; (d) both a and b; (e) both a and c.

__ 5. Fry was aided by Britain, which wanted his help getting its soldiers out of (a) concentration camps; (b) France; (c) Germany; (d) both b and c.