Primo Levi's observation says much about the difficulty in confronting and trying to grasp and "take in" the enormity of the suffering which the Holocaust has caused and will continue to cause so many people. Yet, we must all wrestle with fundamental questions the Holocaust and genocidal acts before the Holocaust, such as Turkey's systematic attempt to eliminate the Armenians in 1915, and the recent atrocities committed in Rwanda. We must all at least try to answer the question: How could this happen?
To attempt to comprehend the nature of the Holocaust and the forces of genocide which continue today in Sudan, for example, Anne Frank's life must be understood in context.
To this end, I have provided two avenues:
In this lesson plan, you'll find samples of student work, handouts, and primary source material (now known by the educational buzzword "realia") such as
Creating a photo trail for The Anne Frank Wall using bookcrossing.com
I just discovered the wonderful bookcrossing.com site and have registered as a member (annefrankwall). To paraphrase the site's founder Ron Hornbaker, the site's purpose is to release books 'into the wild' and track their progress and the lives they touch. I plan to get a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank for each student, donated by a grant from the Allen and Ruth Ziegler Foundation, and have each student 'release' their copy, after registering it with bookcrossing.com, into the wild in some interesting place (e.g. while on vacation). We'll include a request in each book for those who find and read it before passing it on to take a picture of themselves with the copy and send it to this website. In other words, we want to make a photo trail that tracks the book's progress in 'the wild.' Of course, bookcrossing.com has already released over 320 copies of Anne Frank's diary
But, I'm even more excited about using bookcrossing.com to release Alicia Appleman-Jurman's book Alicia, My Story after they've read it and ask those who find and read it to send photos of themselves with the book so our classes can build a photo 'wall' on this website for Alicia.
The Holocaust: Answering the question "How could this happen?
I'm focusing now with how I can improve my teaching so that I can better help students finds answers to the question "How could this happen?" I want to include the following paths of exploration:
Created by James DeLong and Jon Erickson
Copyright @ annefrankwall.org 2004