Lesson 17 Lesson 1

To deepen your understanding of the ideas in this lesson, read Chapters Ten and Eleven in Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior.

Remembrance, Participation, and Reflection


WHY teach this material?


To help students synthesize and retain the ideas they explored in this unit, it is critical that they have the opportunity to reflect on their own learning—what lessons will they take away? How should what they have learned, thought, felt, and come to believe influence their own future decisions and actions? In the final lesson of this unit, students will address these questions by creating a monument to their learning about Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior. Before they begin this project, they will view a documentary about a Children’s Holocaust Memorial built by middle school students in Whitwell, Tennessee. This documentary raises questions about the purpose of memorials, as it provides an example of what it means to “choose to participate.” Hopefully, through the creation of their memorials and the viewing of their classmates’ memorials, the legacy of this Facing History journey will be found in the thoughtful, wiser, humane choices made by your students in the future. At the end of this lesson, students are invited to share their thoughts on their experience in this unit by writing a letter to the executive director of Facing History, Margot Stern Strom.

The purpose of this lesson is to help students: • Reflect on these guiding questions: • Why do people build memorials? • Why is remembering the Holocaust important? To whom is it important? • What have I learned about human behavior and decision-making through studying the rise of the Nazis and the steps leading up to the Holocaust? • What can the material in this unit teach us about ourselves, the past, and the world today? • What does “Facing History and Ourselves” mean to me? • Practice these interdisciplinary skills: • Identifying specific information from a documentary • Interpreting ideas in a film • Synthesizing past knowledge with new material • Defining key terms • Reflecting on past learning • Prioritizing information to select ideas that are most significant to them • Expressing ideas creatively and/or artistically • Deepen understanding of these key terms: • Memorial • Reflection • Choosing to participate
Lesson 17 • 301

(See the main glossary in the unit’s “Introduction” for definitions of these key terms.)

As students explored in Lesson 16, judgment and reparations were a crucial component of the aftermath of the Holocaust. Testimony in the Nuremberg trials provided the world with clear evidence of the human devastation wrought by the Nazis and preserved this information in the historical record. In this way, these trials were a step toward another stage of the postwar process: remembrance. Philosopher George Santayana declared, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”1 These words gain heightened significance when juxtaposed to Hitler’s comments in 1939, the year that the Nazi government began to support and implement state-sanctioned violence against Jews. As he was planning how to rid Germany of Jews, he asked, “Who after all speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”2 Hitler was referring to the mass murder of over a million innocent Armenians by the Turks during World War I. Nearly twenty years after that genocide, the perpetrators had gone unpunished, the Turkish government denied these murders had occurred, and this tragic episode was largely forgotten by the media and those outside of the Armenian community. Thus, one reason it is vital that we remember “the evil in history” is as a defense against it happening again. As Journalist Judith Miller explains:
Knowing and remembering the evil in history and in each of us might not prevent a recurrence of genocide. But ignorance of history or the suppression of memory removes the surest defense we have, however inadequate, against such gigantic cruelty and indifference to it.3


WHAT is this lesson about?

Agreeing with Miller, most scholars and journalists believe that we must challenge “revisionist” attempts to deny that the Holocaust happened. “If you have a hundred books in the world today that are all devoted to teaching that the Holocaust did not happen, imagine the seeds that can fall on unsuspecting minds,” Bill Moyers said in an interview. “Unless we keep hammering home the irrefutable and indisputable facts of the human experience, history as it was experienced by people, we are going to find ourselves increasingly unable to draw distinctions between what was and what we think was.”4 The nation of Germany bears a unique challenge and responsibility in remembering its past. Many perpetrators and bystanders had a blind spot, consciously or unconsciously, which kept them from recalling events during the Holocaust and the years leading up to these atrocities. Bini Reichel, born in 1946 in Germany, describes how, in the postwar years, “amnesia became a contagious national disease, affecting even postwar children. In this new world . . . there was no room for curious children and adolescents. We postponed our questions and finally abandoned them altogether.” In her history books, the Nazi years were covered in 10 to 15 pages of careful condemnation.5 Yet, marking the fortieth anniversary of World War II, West German President Richard von Weizsaecker warned his citizens against ignoring past history, declaring:
The vast majority of today’s population were either children then or had not been born. They cannot profess a guilt of their own for crimes they did not commit. . . .

Lesson 17 • 302

But their forefathers have left them a grave legacy. All of us, whether guilty or not, whether old or young, must accept the past. We are all affected by its consequences and liable for it. The young and old generations must and can help each other to understand why it is vital to keep alive the memories. It is not a case of coming to terms with the past. That is not possible. It cannot be subsequently modified or made undone. However, anyone who closes his eyes to the past is blind to the present. Whoever refuses to remember the inhumanity is prone to new risks of infection.6

In these words, President Richard von Weizsaecker emphasizes the need for Germans to confront their past without becoming paralyzed with a collective guilt for the crimes of the Nazi era. There are many ways individuals, groups, and nations, in Germany and around the world, have confronted the memory of the Holocaust. Some countries, including Germany and France, have made Holocaust denial a crime, punishable by a fine and imprisonment. Governments have also encouraged or mandated education about the Holocaust. German schools are required to teach their students about the Nazi era and the Holocaust, and in addition to classroom learning, most German students visit either a concentration camp or a Holocaust memorial.7 Scholars, journalists, survivors, and novelists have helped the public remember the Holocaust through their writing. When Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the chairman of the Nobel committee remarked, “Through his books, Elie Weisel has given us not only an eyewitness account of what happened, but also an analysis of the evil powers which lay behind the events.”8 Another way that communities around the world have remembered the Holocaust is through building memorials and monuments. These buildings are created for many reasons: to preserve the past, to honor heroes (such as the resisters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising or the rescuers of Le Chambon), to commemorate tragedies, and to inspire action or reflection. These monuments raise questions about appropriate ways to study and remember the Holocaust. To what extent can any memorial help us truly understand the experiences of victims of the Holocaust? How can we symbolize the vast number of victims while still honoring each unique life that was lost—the schoolchild, the aunt, the tailor, the physicist, the sister, etc.? Who should decide how the Holocaust is represented and remembered—what symbols are used, what facts are presented, and whose stories are told?
After studying the steps leading up to the Holocaust, many students create memorials. This one was created by a student in Los Angeles.

When creating the Children’s Holocaust Memorial, the students and teachers at Whitwell Middle School had to answer

Lesson 17 • 303

questions like these. The school’s principal, Linda Hooper, describes Whitwell, Tennessee, a rural community of less than two thousand people, as lacking diversity. “We are all alike,” she shared. “When we come up to someone who is not like us, we don’t have a clue.” To help her students learn about tolerance and diversity, Ms. Hooper and two teachers thought it would be a good idea for students to study the Holocaust. In response to learning about this human tragedy, Whitwell students decided to collect six million paper clips, one paper clip to represent each of the Jewish children, women, and men murdered by the Nazis. The idea of collecting paper clips came to the students once they learned that during World War II, many Norwegians wore paper clips on their lapels as a sign of resistance to the Nazis. To this date, the students have collected over thirty million paper clips. Eleven million paper clips (representing 6 million Jews and 5 million Gypsies, homosexuals, and other victims of the Holocaust) are housed in an authentic German railcar that was used to transport Jews and others to concentration camps. This railcar is the site for the “Children’s Holocaust Memorial,” a museum and monument to the victims of the Holocaust.9 The memorial, which was dedicated in 2001, has received thousands of visitors from all over the world. Whitwell Middle School students conduct tours of the memorial and guide visitors through learning activities about the Holocaust. The story of Whitwell Middle School presents an example of a memorial that serves several purposes. Displaying the collection of 11 million paper clips is intended to help visitors visualize the extraordinary number of lives lost during the Holocaust. Tours and learning activities associated with the memorial educate visitors about this history. Additionally, through the process of creating the memorial, the perspectives of participants in this project expanded. They received visitors from other countries, including German journalists Dagmar and Peter Schroeder, and they invited Holocaust survivors to Whitwell to speak to their community. Whitwell students met with Jewish students from other parts of the country, including an in-depth experience with Jewish students and their families in New York City. In the film Paper Clips, David Smith, a Whitwell Middle School teacher, described how his participation in the Paper Clips project has “made me a better father, a better teacher, a better man.” “When the project first began, I was prejudiced,” he shared, “I was . . . quick to judge and quick to stereotype . . . I had stereotyped children in my classes.”10 Thus, not only does the Whitwell Middle School Paper Clips project demonstrate how the Holocaust can be remembered, but it also exemplifies how studying the Holocaust contributes to our own growth as individuals and as communities. The creation of the Children’s Holocaust Memorial depended on the decisions made by thousands of other individuals: the Schroeders who publicized the project and obtained the railcar, the people who sent in paper clips, and the community members who helped build the memorial. In this way, the Paper Clips Project represents what can happen when individuals and groups participate in their broader community and world. Facing History calls the last stage in its journey “choosing to participate,” in recognition of the hope that after learning about the history of the Holocaust students are better equipped to make thoughtful choices about how to act as a member of a larger community. The completion of the Facing History unit is not meant to provide a naïve sense of optimism for students, where they believe they can change the world overnight. Nor is it meant to leave students feeling helpless in the face of bullying, oppression, and prejudice. Rather, after reflecting on their learning in this unit, we hope students have a more confident and informed sense of the role they can play, however small, in creating more tolerant, humane communities—in their classrooms, their schools, their homes, their neighborhoods, and in the larger world.
Lesson 17 • 304

In 1938, Hitler told a crowd of thousands of young people, “Never forget that one day you will rule the world.”11 When making this declaration, he recognized that the youth shape the future. Hitler’s commitment to controlling the schooling of German students shows that he understood that how the young are educated influences their beliefs and attitudes as adult citizens. One of the most significant lessons gained from studying Nazi Germany is the role civic education can play in preparing youth for their role as members of society—be it a totalitarian regime or a democratic community. What we teach and how we teach can foster the skills, habits, and attitudes required for thoughtful, civic engagement in a diverse nation. One essential aspect of students’ civic education is instilling the belief that choices matter—that students’ choices, as young people and as adults, have an impact on larger society. As journalist Bill Moyers explains:
The problem of democracy is the problem of the individual citizen who takes himself or herself lightly historically. . . . By that I mean if you do not believe that you can make a difference, you’re not going to try to make a difference, you’re not going to try to matter, and you will leave it to someone else who may or may not do what is in the best interest of your values or of democracy’s values.12

Through helping students consider the significance of the choices made by ordinary people—people like you and me—during and leading up to the Holocaust, students will hopefully learn to see their own choices as significant. In the words of Moyers, they will not take themselves “lightly,” but will appreciate how their choices matter to themselves and to the larger society. The words of Robert F. Kennedy articulate this idea best: Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.13 Related readings in Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior “Memorials and Monuments,” pp. 514–15 “In Commemoration,” pp. 515–18

Duration: three class periods Suggestion for how to divide this lesson over three class periods: We suggest that students spend the first day doing the opener activity, watching Paper Clips, and beginning to plan their memorial. Students build their memorials during the second day, completing them for homework if necessary. During the third day, students share their memorials and do the follow-through activity. If you only have two days for this lesson, students can work on their memorials for homework, rather than during class time. Materials


HOW can we help students engage with this material?

Paper Clips documentary (running time is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes; we have suggested using three excerpts of this film that total about 18 minutes of viewing time) Handout 1: Paper Clips comprehension questions Handout 2: Creating a memorial
Lesson 17 • 305

Handout 3: Writing a found poem Handout 4: Found poem example For additional information about the Children’s Holocaust Memorial and the Paper Clips Project, refer to these websites: www.paperclipsmovie.com and www.whitwellmiddle school.org.

Before students learn about how middle school students in Whitwell, Tennessee, responded as they learned about the history of the Holocaust, give students the opportunity to reflect on their own experience as students of this history. You might begin class with 10 minutes of silent writing on one of the following prompts: • Should students study this history? Why or why not? • What do you think are the most important ideas you will remember from this unit? • What has this unit helped you better understand about human behavior—about why people make certain choices about how to think and act? • What has this unit helped you better understand about yourself and your world? You could also have students respond to these questions using the Graffiti Board teaching strategy.
Main Activities Directions for Using the Graffiti Board Teaching Strategy Step One: Setting up the graffiti board There are two options for how to set up the room: Option #1: Flip chart paper or newsprint can be taped to the walls, covering at least one wall as much as possible. Option #2: Have a row of tables with the paper covering their surfaces laid out in the room. Write questions on the papers that you think will stimulate students’ thinking about their learning in this unit. In addition to your own questions, you might include all or some of the questions from the list above. Each student should be given a marker. Step Two: Reactions Inform students that they are to remain silent during this activity. When they are ready, they can respond to the questions on the graffiti board. Students may not get up right away. They may choose to write or draw in their journals first. Some teachers require every student to put something on the boards. Step Three: Reflections After everyone who wants to (or is required to) has written on the boards, the group, still in silence, is asked to come up to the boards and read what has been written. An option is to invite students to keep writing, to respond to what they see. Step Five: Debrief The last step is to debrief what they see on the graffiti board. You might ask students to identify themes or particular comments that surprised them or interested them.

Lesson 17

• 306

The purpose of this lesson is to help students reflect on their learning in this unit through the creation of a memorial that represents a message, inspired by the material in this unit that is important to them. Many of the messages students take away from a study of the Holocaust and human behavior relate to their own decision-making and capacity to “choose to participate.” The film Paper Clips presents an example of both a memorial and a “choosing to participate” story. We suggest showing excerpts from this film to help students think more deeply about the purpose of memorials and the opportunities for civic participation, even for middle school students. Handout 1 includes comprehension questions related to three excerpts. As students watch these excerpts, they can answer the questions on handout 1. Between each excerpt, you can also give students the opportunity to discuss questions raised by the film. The viewing guide below includes sample questions. Most likely, you will have time to discuss one or two questions per excerpt. You can select the question for discussion, or you can distribute the viewing guide to students. In discussion groups of four to six, students can select which question or questions they will discuss.
Paper Clips Viewing Guide (Note: The total viewing time of all three excerpts is approximately 18 minutes.) Excerpt 1 (0:33–8:54): This clip introduces the viewer to the Whitwell community and explains how the Paper Clips Project began. Suggested discussion or journal questions: • In the film, the principal, Linda Hooper, said she wanted the students to work on a project that would focus on tolerance and diversity. Do you think she made a wise choice selecting the Holocaust to address these goals? Why or why not? In what ways, if any, can a study of the Holocaust help students better understand tolerance and diversity? • In this film clip, one of the teachers tells her students, “Hitler murdered six million Jewish people.” Who do you think was responsible for murdering all six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust? If you were teaching a group of middle school students, how would you express in one sentence what happened during the Holocaust? • Whitwell Middle School students were inspired to collect paper clips when they learned how wearing a paper clip became a silent form of protest by Norwegians after Germany occupied their country during World War II. Would you consider the Norwegians’ wearing of paper clips to be an act of resistance? Why or why not? What do you think they hoped to achieve by wearing paper clips on their lapels? What is the purpose of a “silent form of protest” like the wearing of a symbol? • Whitwell Middle school students decided to collect six million paper clips as a way to better understand and represent the horrors of the Holocaust. What do you think of their decision to collect paper clips from people around the world? What do you think they hoped to achieve with this project? What are other things that could be done to help remember the victims of the Holocaust? [Note: In the minutes between excerpt 1 and excerpt 2, the German journalists Dagmar and Peter Schroeder learn about the Paper Clips Project and then take a trip to Whitwell to find out more about it. The Schroeders become deeply involved in this project, writing stories about it for German newspapers.]

Lesson 17

• 307

Excerpt 2 (44:06–48:20): This clip shows the origins of the Children’s Holocaust Memorial, including the acquisition of the railcar that would be used to house the memorial and the participation of community members in developing the memorial. Suggested discussion or journal questions: • Do you think that a railcar used to transport victims to concentration camps is an appropriate place for a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust? Why or why not? • Why do you think that two German journalists who were born during World War II would be interested in this project? Why might they go through such great efforts to help the students at Whitwell Middle School? • Whitwell Middle School was able to get the railcar for free. The Schroeders raised money in Germany to purchase the railcar. The Germans shipped the railcar to Baltimore, Maryland, free of charge. Then the port in Baltimore also waived their shipping fees, as did the train company that transported the railcar to Whitwell, Tennessee. Why do you think so many people donated money or time to help Whitwell get the railcar for their memorial? • Once the Whitwell community learned that they were getting a railcar, many people, students and adults alike, volunteered to help build the memorial. What do you think motivated people to get involved? Has anything ever motivated members of your community to work together to achieve a common goal? What do you think could inspire members of your community to work together to achieve a common goal? Excerpt 3 (1:14:20–1:18:44): The final four minutes of the film shows the finished Children’s Holocaust Memorial and presents testimony from a Holocaust survivor and Whitwell Middle School students describing the impact this memorial, and the process of creating it, has had on them. Suggested discussion or journal questions: • What are the different purposes of memorials? Why do people build them? What do you think is the purpose of the Children’s Holocaust Memorial? • What is the significance of the fact that students are the teachers—that they lead the tours through the memorial? What purpose is achieved by having students as the teachers, as opposed to having adults as the teachers? • What do you think is the impact of the Children’s Holocaust Memorial on the students who participated in the project, on the Whitwell community, and on the thousands of people who tour the exhibit or watch this film? • What does the phrase “choosing to participate” mean to you? What does this film teach us about “choosing to participate”?

After viewing and discussing Paper Clips, students can begin creating their own memorial. As part of introducing this assignment, you might want to review the meaning of the word “memorial.” Any act or product that strives to remember an event, idea, or person might be considered a memorial. While Whitwell Middle School students created a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, for this assignment, we suggest students create a memorial to their own learning in this unit. Looking over the past five weeks, what do students hope to remember? What ideas are most important to them? Students’ memorials should represent their answers to these questions.

Lesson 17

• 308

Handout 2 is a worksheet designed to help students plan their memorial. Before students begin planning, you can brainstorm possible themes or messages students might represent in their work. Many middle school students gravitate toward concrete ideas, such as a memorial to children who died in the Holocaust or a monument to commemorate the upstanders who rescued victims. Encourage students to think about not only the specific historical facts and stories they explored in this unit, but also the concepts and questions that they addressed—the ideas that relate not only to understanding the past, but also to understanding our lives today. For example, students’ memorials could express a warning about falling prey to propaganda, or a memorial could convey the idea that it is wrong to label others. For inspiration, students can review their responses on the graffiti board from the opening activity. They can also review their journals and any artifacts from the unit in the classroom, such as a word wall. Once students have brainstormed a list of possible themes or messages that they could represent, then spend a few minutes listing the materials they could realistically use given how much time they have to work on this project. Examples of memorials students have created include the following: poems, children’s books, sculptures (with clay, paper, or found objects), drawings, paintings, songs, short stories, web pages, power point presentations, comics, one-act plays, community service projects, and acts of kindness and responsibility. If students are having a difficult time coming up with an idea, you can suggest that they write a found poem. Handout 3 provides directions for writing a found poem. Alternatively, you could have all students write a found poem as their memorial to their learning in this unit.
Follow-Through (in class or at home)

Give students the opportunity to share their memorials with their classmates. You can give each student a few minutes to present their memorial to the class. Or students can set up an exhibit in the classroom showcasing their memorials. As students view the exhibit, they can respond to prompts such as: A memorial I found particularly interesting is ___________________________ because _______________________________________________________. A memorial that helped me think of something in a new way is _____________ because _______________________________________________________. A memorial that expressed an idea I agree with is ________________________ because _______________________________________________________. Volunteers can share their responses to these statements with the whole group. Alternatively, after everyone has had time to tour the exhibit, each student could be given a minute or two to say something positive about a particular memorial. They might mention a question that the memorial raised for them or how the memorial confirmed one of their values or beliefs. To ensure that everyone’s memorial is recognized, you could assign each student a memorial to celebrate. (You can make these assignments by having students draw names from a hat.) As a final reflection, you might have students end this unit in a similar way to how they began it: by thinking about the meaning of the words “Facing History and Ourselves.”
Lesson 17 • 309

First, ask students to identify a specific moment in this unit when they feel like they faced history and a moment when they feel they faced something familiar from their own life. (This could be the same moment.) Allow volunteers to share these moments with the class. Other questions you can raise with students include: What does “Facing History and Ourselves” mean? Do you think this is a good name for this unit? Why or why not? How can studying the past help you better understand yourself and the world today? Students could also express their thoughts about this unit in a letter that they write to Margot Stern Strom, founder and executive director of Facing History and Ourselves. Ms. Strom grew up in Memphis and she developed the resource book Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior when she was a middle school teacher in Massachusetts. In their letters, students can share information such as: • • • • Something important they hope to remember from this unit A question that is still on their mind at the end of this unit Advice for teachers using this material What the phrase “Facing History and Ourselves” means to them

Margot Stern Strom’s address is 16 Hurd Road, Brookline, MA 02445.

• The memorials can be evaluated for quality and content. Teachers often ask students to write a brief artist’s statement that explains the decisions they made when creating their memorial. Questions students can address in their artist’s statement include: —What is the message of your memorial? Why is this message meaningful to you? —Who is the audience for your memorial? Why did you select this audience? —Explain two or three specific decisions you made to help express this message to this audience. —What did you learn from creating this memorial? • Students can turn in an exit card with their responses to the statements listed in the follow-through activity. Responses on the exit card will provide information about the ideas students took away from viewing their classmates’ memorials. • Students’ letters to Margot Stern Strom will reveal the ideas students have found most important in this unit. Reading these letters can provide interesting information about the design of this unit, your own teaching, and students’ learning. You can apply students’ insight to your teaching of this unit in the future—emphasizing the ideas that students found most compelling while finding new ways to explore material that might have confused students.

• Facing History teachers often invite parents and members of the school and local community to attend a public exhibition of memorials. In the same way that students in Whitwell Middle School guide tours of the Children’s Holocaust Memorial, your students can serve as docents for this exhibit.

Lesson 17

• 310

• Facing History’s website includes the online module “Memory, History, and Memorials.” This resource addresses the question, “What happens when individuals, communities, and nations choose to create memorials and monuments in response to a personal or collective tragedy?” by providing background information and images focused on how the Holocaust and other moments in history have been commemorated through the creation of monuments and memorials. The module also includes samples of memorials created by students from classrooms around the country. • When Margot Stern Strom taught this unit, as a final assignment she asked her students to develop their own curriculum designed to help young people develop as moral thinkers. You might ask your students, in small groups, to develop an outline for a unit of study for 7th graders. What do they think is important for students to learn about decision-making? What ideas, questions, or readings from this unit might they include? What other materials, ideas, questions, and concepts might they include? How would they begin the unit? How would they end it?

Lesson 17

• 311

Lesson 17: Handout 1
Paper Clips comprehension questions
Questions for Part 1 (0:33–8:54) 1. Where does this story take place?

2. How do the people in this film describe this community?

3. Why did the principal want her middle school students to study the Holocaust?

4. Where did the idea to collect paper clips come from?

Questions for Part 2 (44:06–48:20) 1. Why did the principal and teachers want a railcar?

2. Who helped them find the railcar?

3. What do you know about this railcar?

4. Who wanted to participate in making this memorial?

Questions for Part 3 (1:14:20–1:18:44) 1. Now that the memorial has been built, what does Middle School say is their job now?

2. Who does the teaching? Who leads the tours through the memorial?

3. How did Holocaust survivor Lena Gitter react when learning about the Children’s Holocaust Memorial and the Paper Clips Project?

4. What was the impact of this project on the students at Whitwell Middle School?

Purpose: To reflect on learning in this unit through studying memorials to the Holocaust. • 312

Lesson 17: Handout 2
Creating a memorial
Step one: Determine your message—What idea do you want your memorial to represent? 1. Look over your journal entries and other materials from this unit. Highlight or keep a list of the ideas that stand out to you as most important. You can record words, phrases, quotations, and questions. Consider not only information about the past, but also questions and ideas that relate to your own experience. 2. Prioritize this information. Go through the list, crossing off items that are important, but not the most important to you right now. You can repeat this process until you feel you can go no further—the items left should be ones that are too important to cross off. 3. From the list that remains, come up with a theme or a message. Complete the statement: Based on my experience in this Facing History and Ourselves unit on the Holocaust and human behavior, I hope to remember . . .

Step two: Determine your audience—Who is this memorial for? Before you design your memorial, you have to select an audience. Your memorial might be for you, or you might want your memorial to convey a message to another audience. For example, your classmates, teachers, family, or community might be possible audiences for your memorial. Complete the statement: The audience for my memorial is . . .

Step three: Select your materials Review the list of materials your class brainstormed. Which of these materials do you feel most comfortable working with? Using which of these materials could you most effectively express your message? After answering these questions, complete the statement: The materials I will use to build my memorial include . . .

Step four: Design and build your memorial You will probably need to begin step four by sketching or brainstorming ideas. From this pre-work, you can decide on a design that you think best expresses your message. Then you are ready to create your memorial.

Purpose: To reflect on learning in this unit through studying memorials to the Holocaust. • 313

Lesson 17: Handout 3
Writing a found poem
1. Create a list of words, phrases, and quotations. Review any material related to this unit, including work on the walls of your classroom, readings, and especially your journal entries. As you look over these texts, record any words, phrases, quotations, or questions that are particularly interesting or meaningful to you. Try to identify at least 20 different words or phrases so that you have plenty of ideas from which to choose when writing your poem.

2. Determine a theme and message. Look over your list. Try to identify a theme and message that represents the language you have selected. A theme is a broad concept such as obedience or responsibility. A message is a specific idea you would like to express about this theme. For example, looking over the language you have selected, you might realize that “propaganda” is a theme that emerges. “Read, watch, listen, and THINK” is an example of a message that relates to this theme. Often it is helpful to do this step with a partner. Trade lists. Then describe the themes or main ideas you see in your partner’s list.

3. Select additional language. When writing a found poem, you can only use words that you have collected from other sources. So, once you select a theme, you may need to review material from this unit to collect additional language that relates to your message and theme.

4. Compose your poem. Now arrange the language you have selected. One approach is to write all of the words and phrases on slips of paper, so you can move them around until you find a composition that pleases you. While you cannot add your own words when creating a found poem, you can repeat words or phrases as often as you like.

Purpose: To reflect on learning in this unit through studying memorials to the Holocaust. • 314

Lesson 17: Handout 4
Found poem example
You, my youth . . . never forget that one day you will rule the world. What could I do? You don’t stop to ask why We simply believed what was crammed into us. Never did we question And avoiding critical reflection. . . . What are you going to do? What could I do? You couldn’t talk about that. The worst fate was to be laughed at and publicly humiliated. . . . They will turn against you. And avoiding critical reflection. . . . What could I do? I opposed it in conscience I forced the memory of it out of my consciousness as quickly as possible. I was not prepared to resist And avoiding critical reflection. . . . What could I do? I could not act any other way We helped them because it was the human thing to do This is a habit, it is all perfectly natural I felt I had no choice . . . I know only human beings What are you going to do?

Poet’s statement:

During this unit, I was very interested in the different reasons people gave to explain why they followed the Nazis. Many of their reasons (or excuses) were ones I have used. I know there are times when I wanted to ask a question or disagree with someone, but did not do it because I was scared of being laughed at. And, there are so many times that I believed what others told me without thinking twice about it. I am so busy all of the time with schoolwork and friends and family that it is hard to find the time to think about what I am learning and hearing every day. This unit taught me that it is important to take the time to form my opinions carefully. Soon, I will be an adult. My classmates and I will be the ones making important decisions about how we raise our families and the kinds of laws we should have. If we avoid critical reflection, like many of the people who lived in Germany before the Holocaust, we might make really bad choices. One choice, though, that does not require much thought is the decision to treat people like I want to be treated. If we all had the habit of loving thy neighbor, we would all live in more peaceful communities without bullies and gossip. I wish I knew what could be done to get people into the habit of helping and caring. What was their secret in Le Chambon?

Purpose: To reflect on learning in this unit through studying memorials to the Holocaust. • 315

George Santayana, The Life of Reason (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1905), 284. Helen Fein, Accounting for Genocide: National Responses and Jewish Victimization During the Holocaust (New York: Free Press, 1979), 4. 3 Judith Miller, One, by One, by One: Facing the Holocaust (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990), 283. 4 Mary Johnson and Margot Stern Strom, Elements of Time (Brookline: Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation, 1989), xii. 5 Daniel Goleman, Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985), 228. 6 Geoffrey Hartman, Bitburg in Political and Moral Perspective (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 265. 7 “Holocaust Education in Germany: An Interview,” PBS website, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages /frontline/shows/germans/germans/education.html (accessed January 23, 2009). 8 Egil Aarvick, “The Nobel Peace Prize 1986,” PBS website, http://www.pbs.org/eliewiesel/nobel /presentation.html (accessed January 23, 2009). 9 Eboo Patel, Acts of Faith (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007), xiii–xvi. 10 Paper Clips, DVD (New York: Hart Sharp Video, 2006). 11 Eleanor Ayer, Parallel Journeys (New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1995), 23. 12 Helmut Schreier, Never Again! The Holocaust’s Challenge for Educators (Hamburg: Kramer, 1997), 143. 13 Robert F. Kennedy, “Day of Affirmation,” (speech, University of Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966), Robert F. Kennedy Memorial website, http://www.rfkmemorial.org/lifevision/dayofaffirmation/ (accessed January 23, 2009).
1 2


Photo credits: page 11: “Journal writing,” Image courtesy of Kathy Richland. page 25: “Student with the resource book,” Image courtesy of Kathy Richland. page 34: “Facing History classroom discussion,” Copyright © by Michael Malyszko. page 42: “Teacher with Identity Chart,” Image courtesy of Kathy Richland. page 49: “Student art work,” Copyright © by Ann Chaitin. page 65 (left to right, top to bottom): “Yemen, 1984” and “Dans la Soukkha, 1980,” Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery. Copyright © by Frédéric Brenner. “There are not enough seats . . .” Photograph by Richard Sobol, copyright © 2003. “Simens Mtns, Ethiopia,” Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery. Copyright © by Frédéric Brenner. page 66 (left to right, top to bottom): “The general and his wife,” Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery. Copyright © by Frédéric Brenner. “Father Carving Chicken at Sabbath Dinner,” Copyright © Leland Bobbé/Corbis. “Les gladiateurs, 1992,” Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery. Copyright © by Frédéric Brenner. page 67 (left to right, top to bottom): “The Jewish community of Beijing, Tiananmen Gate,” Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery. Copyright © by Frédéric Brenner. “Making flour, rocking baby,” Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery. Copyright © by Frédéric Brenner. “Jewish Students Reading Scrolls,” © Jonathan Torgovnik/Corbis. “Girls in Yeshivah Class,” © Blaine Harrington III/Corbis. pages 74, 97: “Battle-Weary Troops Retreat,” Image Courtesy of Snark/Art Resources, NY. pages 88, 101: “Mein Kampf,” Image courtesy of Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbestiz/Art Resource, NY. page 100: “Children play with money,” © Bettmann/Corbis. page 102: “Metropolis,” Courtesy of Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. page 103: “Fatherland,” Courtesy of Calvin College, German Propaganda Archive. page 104: “Depression,” © Bettmann/Corbis. pages 105, 112: “Poster,” Courtesy of the USHMM. page106 (left to right): “Young Nazi supporters,” Courtesy of the USHMM. “Workers of the mind and hand!” Courtesy of the USHMM. page 142: “Signal on Identity,” an oil on canvas by Samuel Bak. Image courtesy of Pucker Gallery. page 163: “Healthy Parents have Healthy Children, 1933” Courtesy of Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum. pages 164, 172: “The Poisonous Mushroom poster,” Courtesy of the USHMM. page 165: “Youth Serves the Führer,” Courtesy of Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum. page 197: “Facades,” an oil on canvas by Samuel Bak. Image courtesy of Pucker Gallery, www.puckergallery.com. pages 222, 243: “Nazi officers and female auxiliaries,” Courtesy of the USHMM. pages 224, 246: “Jewish Women and Children from Subcarpathian,” Courtesy of the USHMM. page 240: “Jews Murdered . . .” map, from The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust, 3rd edition, Martin Gilbert. page 241: “Boy at the Warsaw Ghetto,” © Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw. page 241: “Exposure” oil painting by Samuel Bak. Courtesy of Pucker Gallery, www.puckergallery.com. pages 244, 301: “Candle Memorial,” Copyright © by Ann Chaitin. page 245: “Auschwitz concentration,” Courtesy of the USHMM. page 247: “Two ovens inside the crematorium,” Courtesy of the USHMM. page 255: “The Family,” oil painting by Samuel Bak. Courtesy of Pucker Gallery, www.puckergallery.com. page 285: “Nuremberg scene,” Courtesy of Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, gift of Yevgeny Khaldei.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful