Teachers should be knowledgeable about the atrocities that were committed against Jews during the Holocaust in order to best explain the topic to their students. Teachers should engage with primary source material from survivors and adult narratives of the Holocaust in order to fully comprehend the suffering and horrors experienced by millions. 

 

Books:

 

LAMOTH Teacher Guide: This comprehensive teacher’s guide will give teachers the discussion tools, resources, and materials needed in order to best teach the Holocaust to students.

None of Us Will Return by Charlotte Delbo: Delbo, a member of the French Resistance, details her experiences as a gentile in Auschwitz as well as the horrors she saw there. Her short, prose-like writing is often blunt and horrifying, and describes life in Auschwitz with particular detail. Her description of camp life, from the gentile perspective, is especially important for readers to understand.

The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick: Ozick’s short story follows three characters, Rosa, Magda, and Stella, as they are on a march to a Nazi concentration camp. Rosa carries her baby, Magda, as her niece Stella follows with them. Rosa is unable to feed Magda, yet the shawl that she covers the child with somehow keeps her from death. This short story accounts the horrors of the Nazi’s forced marches and life in the camps.

 

Films:

 

Europa Europa (Film): Directed by Agnieszka Holland in 1990, the film tells the story of Solomon Perel, a German Jewish boy who escaped death by disguising himself as a Nazi. The film follows him throughout various countries and experiences until he finally emigrates to Israel. 

Son of Saul (Film): A 2015 Hungarian drama film, Son of Saul captures the life of a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando. Sonderkommando were Jews who were forced to help with the disposal of victims from gas chambers. This movie follows Saul as he is forced to aid in disposing of the Jewish victim’s bodies and their belongings in Auschwitz. The film also follows him as he becomes part of a plot to rebel against the camp guards and document the atrocities within the camp.  While clearing the gas chambers of dead bodies, Saul believes he has seen his son who subsequently dies and is taken to an SS doctor. The rest of the film follows him as he attempts to find a rabbi to bury his son after he steals his body, and Saul’s attempt to escape the camp.