(Note: You might also want to see The Best Resources For Learning About Genocide)
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is on January 27th. It marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. The United States officially commemorates the Holocaust during Days of Remembrance, which is held each April, marking the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
I thought I’d quickly put together a “The Best…” list of sites I’ve used with my students to help them learn about the Holocaust.
You might also find The Best Web Resources On Darfur useful, as well as The Best Resources For Learning About The Warsaw Uprising. and The Best Resources For Learning About Genocide. Also, The Best Sites To Learn About Anne Frank.
Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Learning About The Holocaust (and are accessible to English Language Learners):
“Auschwitz After 65 Years” is the title of a TIME Magazine slideshow.
Glencoe has a multimedia presentation on the Holocaust.
How Stuff Works has an excellent collection of short and accessible online videos about the Holocaust.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is actually recognized internationally on January 27th. Here is a Breaking News English lesson that provides audio support for the text on that day.
That lesson, designed for English Language Learners, is followed by an online exercise.
The United States Memorial Holocaust Museum has many resources. Life In The Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust and Life After The Holocaust are multimedia presentations that are particularly accessible to English Language Learners. You can find all their online exhibitions here.
Flight and Rescue is another multimedia (including closed captions) online exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It describes the flight of 2,000 Polish Jews to safety.
Give Me Your Children: Voices From The Lodz Ghetto is another accessible presentation from the Holocaust Museum.
Kristallnacht In Words and Photographs is a slideshow from TIME Magazine about “the day the Holocaust began.”
The History Channel has an excellent site on the Holocaust.
The BBC has a good animation about concentration camps, particularly Auschwitz, but it’s probably only accessible to advanced ELL’s.
Darfur is not the only place in the world where genocide is happening today. Genocide in the Congo also comes from the Holocaust Museum and has, among other elements, a journal written by Angelina Jolie. She also provides audio of the text.
Buchenwald: Horror and Liberation, 1945 is a slideshow from LIFE.
Remembering The Holocaust is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.
Here are some materials on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust:
Irena Sendler was a Pole who is credited with saving 2,500 Jewish children.
The Teachers Guide to the Holocaust has materials on many “rescuers.”
I’ve also shown clips from movies portraying Jewish resistance to the Holocaust. Here are some Youtube links to them, though I’d encourage you to get the movies and show lengthier segments:
Defiance is the recent movie starring Daniel Craig.
Uprising, about resistance in the Warsaw ghetto.
Grey Zone, about an uprising at a concentration camp.
If you don’t want to rent the movies, and your school blocks YouTube, you can learn other ways to show these clips at school at The Best Ways To Access Educational YouTube Videos At School.
And here is one last teacher resource — The Museum of Tolerance has a lot of resources on the Holocaust for teachers.
Also, David Truss left a comment to both share a post from his blog reflecting on his visit to the Holocaust Museum in Israel, and to suggest a poem be added to this list:
“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”
Pastor Martin Niemöller
Another suggestion in the comments section came from Edna, who recommended I include the Educational Materials from the Holocaust Museum in Israel.
Acts of Remembrance: Reflecting on How the Holocaust Is Taught comes from The New York Times Learning Network.
Children of war: Holocaust survivors is an Associated Press interactive.
Last Folio: A Living Monument to the Holocaust is a slideshow from TIME.
Holocaust Remembrances and Memorials is a slideshow from The PBS News Hour.
Honoring the 6 million victims of Nazi Holocaust is a slideshow from The Sacramento Bee.
The Guardian recently published Stories from Terezín: the Nazi transit camp with a musical legacy – interactive. Here’s how they describe it:
During the second world war, great composers were imprisoned at the Terezín concentration camp near Prague. They were permitted to perform and compose music – before being sent to their deaths in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Their efforts were exploited by the Nazis for propaganda purposes, but the legacy of the compositions created and played at Terezín lives on. As London’s Nash Ensemble prepares to take a performance of the Czech composers’ work home to Prague, Ed Vulliamy has spoken to some of the camp’s survivors.
Use the navigation arrows and the menu at the bottom of the interactive to read their stories, watch videos and hear some of the music composed by the people of Terezín.
iWitness is a pretty amazing multimedia resource on The Holocaust.
Holocaust: We Are Witness is from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.
Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust,” is a new and impressive interactive online exhibition from U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Here’s how it describes its theme:
Millions of ordinary people witnessed the crimes of the Holocaust—in the countryside and city squares, in stores and schools, in homes and workplaces. Across Europe, the Nazis found countless willing helpers who collaborated or were complicit in their crimes. What motives and pressures led so many individuals to abandon their fellow human beings? Why did others make the choice to help?
You can also read more about it at an extensive Education Week article.
Staying Put and Bearing Witness to the Holocaust is from The New York Times.
Remembering Auschwitz: 70 Years After Liberation is from The Atlantic.
A lifetime surviving Auschwitz is from The Guardian.
The Holocaust year by year is from The BBC.
— BBC iWonder (@BBCiWonder) January 28, 2015
— Warren Berger (@GlimmerGuy) January 28, 2015
— Greg Toppo (@gtoppo) January 27, 2015
Read these searing quotes from an Auschwitz survivor's essay on life in the camp http://t.co/f7D1D9mEOk
— Vox (@voxdotcom) January 27, 2015
— BBC iWonder (@BBCiWonder) January 27, 2015
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 27, 2015
— BBC iWonder (@BBCiWonder) January 27, 2015
Never too young to remember – International Holocaust Remembrance Day is from The Travelling Teachers, and is a lesson plan for ELLs.
As always, feedback is welcome.