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Facing Genocide: The US Response to the Holocaust

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Language Arts And English +7 Age Levels High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

My aunt remembers sitting at the kitchen table as a child while her parents, my grandparents, read the Yiddish newspaper, Der Tag. Often one would start crying, saying, nishta ("gone"), "this one nishta; that one nishta," in response to the paper's lists of towns in Europe overrun by the Nazis. 

This collection examines the US response to the Holocaust, pairing historical documentation with four thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials - "Unveiling Stories," :Think, Feel, Care," "The 3 Y's," and "Circles of Action," - to prompt students to ask important questions about our individual and collective responsibility to humanity. 

Included here are photographs, documentation, and resources from the National Museum of American History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), including a teaching resource and USHMM's online exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, which examines "the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide." Examined with thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking and Agency by Design materials, students will explore complex and deeply troubling issues that continue to have relevance today. 

This collection complements chapter 14 ("World War II and America's Ethnic Problem") of Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America, and supports Unit 1: Intersectionality of Economics, Politics, and Policy, and Unit 3: Local History and Current Issues, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course. 

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