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Getting Started:  Classroom Photo Project

Given that it is impossible to comprehend the number of 11 million victims; we encourage you begin your unit by breaking down that number to one individual. This lesson from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum makes the Holocaust personal by having your students connect to the pre-war, vibrant life of its victims by comparing a picture of themselves. Click here for a PowerPoint that will provide your class with the samples to get started.

Learning about the Power of Propaganda:

Today we are exposed to greater amounts of information and from more sources than ever before. Citizens have a responsibility as consumers of that information to thoughtfully evaluate the messages they encounter, particularly when those messages urge action. Produced by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, click here for ready-made Nazi propaganda posters and student guides to analyze them.


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Make it Local:

Buffalo has a rich Holocaust-related history that will be inspiring for your students to hear about. Be sure to acquaint them with the testimony of one of our country’s most influential Holocaust survivors--and proud Western New Yorker--Gerda Weissman Klein. In May 1945, she was liberated by an American soldier named Kurt Klein. After getting married, the couple resided in Kenmore, where Kurt was from. In 1957, she wrote the masterpiece “All But My Life”, which--along with the Diary of Anne Frank and Night--is one of the most read Holocaust memoirs in the world. You can hear Gerda tell her story in this wonderful YouTube clip, with further resources available on teaching her book here.

Becoming an international human rights prosecutor like Robert H. Jackson of Jamestown

This lesson is designed as a way of teaching about the importance of the 1945 trials of the Nazi leaders at Nuremberg by connecting it to the 1998 establishment of the International Criminal Court.   After a brief classroom play that makes Jackson's work at Nuremberg come alive, your students will then follow his example by becoming an international prosecutor today, writing their own Opening Statements that indict some of the world's most wanted war criminals such as Joseph Kony and Omar al-Bashir. While it can be used for any secondary school audience, additional Advanced Placement resources have been included as well.

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Connecting Jackson to the World: Looking at Contemporary Human Rights Hotspots

This lesson is designed to help your students see the world today through the eyes of Justice Jackson by analyzing his opening statement at Nuremberg, then writing their own about a current human rights crisis on either Syria, Congo, or Burma.  This module will take approximately two class periods to complete. To do this, you will need to have a basic understanding of the Holocaust and Nuremberg. An ideal Common Core writing exercise that requires that students analyze primary source evidence, this lesson allows your students to see Jackson in the past, then follow his example by seeking justice today.

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Evidence of a War Crime: Jackson, Nuremberg, and Holocaust Denial

 This two-day learning module is designed to help your students understand Justice Jackson's role in uncovering the truth of crimes that became known as the Holocaust and in refuting the claims of Holocaust deniers.   Jackson hoped that this evidence would once and forever shine a light on the atrocities committed by the Nazi's during the Second World War, and hold them accountable for what they had done. Perfect for an advanced high school class, ready to use today.

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Preventing Unjust War: Hobbes, Jackson, and the Purpose of Government

This interactive lesson quickly gets your students involved with a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors", then explores the ability of international law to reduce aggression between countries. By comparing the thinking of Hobbes and Jackson, its participants walk away with not only with a fresh look at the basics of political theory--and more importantly, understand the need for international laws in the world today.

Connecting the Dots: Genocide in the Modern Age

Created by Holocaust Resource Center Education Staff Jim Gang, this lesson allows your students to examine the life of local Holocaust survivor Joe Diamond, then comparing his experiences to local Rwandan survivor Victor Habinshuti. Fascinating to do--with the end result seeing the warning signs that are so similar with any genocide.

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