iterature, with its various genres, is an invaluable teaching tool. The experience of reading heightens awareness in several ways, primarily by either conveying factual information or by evoking empathetic or sympathetic responses. An inherent value of literature is its ability to transport readers to different times, distant places, and unique circumstances. Through literature, readers can not only learn the facts about the Third Reich and World War II, but they can also make personal connections with those characters, real and fictional, who lived and died during the Holocaust. An enormous amount and variety of Holocaust literature is available today for study. This section is intended as a brief overview for teachers, students, and researchers who desire to comprehend the dimensions of the Holocaust as represented in literature. Works are summarized, and suggested grade designations are provided for each work.
- The Voices of Victims. This category focuses on the importance of personal writing as a means of understanding the Holocaust. These diaries, stories and poems also serve to humanize the vast number of Holocaust victims by introducing readers to individuals with understandable dreams, passions and agonies.
- Survivor Testimony and Literature. The poignant testimony of Holocaust survivors reaffirms the will to live and to retain human dignity in the face of terrible adversity. These biographies and memoirs can help to personalize historical events and to establish real faces in the overwhelming sea of facts and statistics.
- Accounts of Resistance. There are thousands of unsung heroes of the Holocaust, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who resisted the Nazis in ways big and small. These remarkable stories of defiance counter the myth that Nazi victims passively submitted to their fate.
- Stories of Rescue and Heroism. It is imperative that the world recognize and remember the actions of the "Righteous Gentiles," those relatively few individuals who took definite steps and frequently risked their lives to save fellow human beings. Many of those who deserve praise and honor are no longer alive to tell their stories.
- The German Experience. If the goal of Holocaust education is to prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy, then we must carefully examine the participants and the circumstances that permitted the rise of Nazism. The selections in this category focus on life in Germany during the rise and rule of the Third Reich.
- Aftermath: Response and Reflection. In the fifty years since the Holocaust, what moral lessons has the world learned? Works in this section that attempt to respond to this question include critical analyses, as well as fiction, drama, and poetry that honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
- Teacher Resources. Here you will find lesson plans and other resources for the study of the Holocaust through literature.
| Victims | Survivors | Resistance | Rescue | German Experience | Aftermath | Teacher Resources |
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 1997-2013.