(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):
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. You can find all their online exhibitions here.
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.
Here are some materials on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust:
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:
Grey Zone, about an uprising at a concentration camp
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
Acts of Remembrance: Reflecting on How the Holocaust Is Taught comes from The New York Times Learning Network.
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.
— 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.
Here’s an amazing video that was made into a TED-ED lesson:
You’ll want to watch this PBS News Hour segment titled “Seeing Holocaust survivors’ stories in the books they left behind.”
Facing History’s multimedia unit on The Holocaust is quite impressive.
Teaching the Holocaust: Facts, Emotions, Morality is from Middleweb.
Digital technology offers new ways to teach lessons from the Holocaust is from The Conversation.
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Together, we must learn from genocide, challenge prejudice and create a better future.
— Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (@HMD_UK) January 27, 2019
— BBC (@BBC) January 27, 2019
The Holocaust Explained is a site designed for young people.
Timeline of Nazi Abuses is from PBS.
The UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM has lots of interactive maps.
Thanks to Melanie Bean, I learned about an impressive interactive timeline of the Holocaust, accompanied by teaching materials. It’s from Echoes and Reflections, an education organization sponsored by the ADL and USC Shoah Foundation, along with others.
What If A Girl In The Holocaust Had Instagram (also called Eva Stories) is an amazing Instagram story that dramatizes the actual diary account of Eva Heyman, a teenager who perished in the Holocaust. I learned about it from Julia Jee, and from The New York Times article, A Holocaust Story for the Social Media Generation. What Social Studies teacher will not use it in class?
Americans and the Holocaust: The Refugee Crisis is from Facing History.
As always, feedback is welcome.