This Educator Video Toolbox is aligned to Echoes & Reflections, a comprehensive Holocaust education program that delivers professional development and a rich array of multimedia resources for middle and high school teachers. This video complements Lesson 5: The “Final Solution”. It addresses key historical context, supports your teaching, and provides a methodological and pedagogical framework to help you teach this subject effectively. Professional development programs for middle and high school educators are taking place around the country; you can find one near you here.
This video addresses the complexities of teaching about the Final Solution. Some six million Jews were murdered in the systematic mass murder of the Jews of Europe that was defined by the Germans as the "Final Solution" of what they termed the "Jewish Question." The video focuses on the stories of individual Jewish victims, allowing us to address the Final Solution through a human lens rather than through dry statistics, and to present a multidisciplinary approach to this difficult subject of the struggle for life in the shadow of death during one of humanity's darkest chapters.
Dr Robert Rozett is Director of the Yad Vashem Libraries, as well as an author, researcher and senior editor on Holocaust-related subjects.
Shani Lourie is a staff member at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem.
Shlomit Steiner is a staff member at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem.
For additional information about Echoes & Reflections click here.
Further pedagogical considerations
- The Final Solution is in the core of the Holocaust. From an educational perspective, teaching the subject is complicated because it exposes the student to the depths of evil and incomprehensible brutality. As such, the subject must be approached with sensitivity in an age-appropriate fashion.
- Understanding the subject of the Final Solution requires addressing the voice of those persecuted and murdered. This is not a story of statistics, of 6 million who were murdered; it is a human story that we wish to reveal through the story of individuals.
- The personal story shows us the face of humanity and the human spirit.
- It is important to reference the human story in the broad context and to connect the stories to the historical events.