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Holocaust Curriculum Documents

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Published by Julie Lindy, 2019-07-15 07:34:43

Holocaust Curriculum

Holocaust Curriculum Documents

If children can be taught to fear and despise others
simply because they are "others"-which is how
children learn prejudice by being so taught-then
we can also teach children to accept and respect
the fundamental value and rights of others simply
because they are human. This is the relevant lesson
of the holocaust for today, and it is our imperative
duty and responsibility that we teach it and that we
teach it well.
Dr. Sheldon Grebstein





"The Ball"

I tugged at his sleeve. The policeman frowned. Herr Schneider listened
"Officer;' I said, "he didn't do it. "You wouldn't try to call this patiently. When she had fin­
I broke the pane with my ball." woman a liar." I wanted to ished, he took Friedrich's chin
explain, but he didn't let me. in his hand and lifted his head
The woman looked at me so he could look into his eyes.
threateningly. "Don't you He took Friedrich's wrist
believe him, Officer!" she said. from the woman and led him "Friedrich," he asked seri­
"He only wants to protect the toward our house, followed by ously, "did you break the shop
Jewboy here. Don't you believe the woman and a long line of window intentionally?"
him. He thinks the Jew's his curious onlookers.
friend just because they live in Friedrich shook his head,
the same house. I joined the line. still sobbing.
Halfway there we ran into
The policeman bent down Herr Schneider. "I did it, Herr Schneider. I
to me. "You don't understand Sobbing, Friedrich shouted, threw the ball, but I didn't do it
this yet, you're too young still;' "Father!" on purpose!" and I showed
he explained. "You may think Astonished, Herr Schneider him my small rubber ball.
you're doing him a favor by surveyed the procession.He
standing up for him. But you came closer, said hello, and Friedrich nodded.
know he's a Jew.Believe me, we looked from one person to Herr Schneider took a deep
grownups have had plenty of another, obviously puzzled. breath. "If you can swear on
experiences with Jews. You "Your son-" said the oath that what you just told me
can't trust them; they're sneaky policeman. is the truth;' he told the woman,
and they cheat. This woman But the woman didn't give "go ahead and register a formal
was the only one who saw what him a chance to go on. In one complaint. You know me, and
happened, so ... " burst she repeated her tales. you know where I live!"
The only part she left out this
"But she didn't see it!" I time was her insinuation The woman did not reply.
interrupted him. "Only I was about Jews. Herr Schneider pulled out his
there, and I did it!" purse. "Kindly release my son,
Officer!" he said sharply."I will
pay for the damage at once."

Hans Peter Richter. Friedrich (New York: Puffin Books, 1987), 38-42. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux LLC.

1. What does the woman call the boys?
2. According to the woman, how are the Jews ruining her business?
3. The policeman arrives to find out the truth. How does he use his authority?
4. What do you think both boys felt during this scenario?


"The Ball"

Think about how the story presents evidence of each of the following, and then answer Question 5
• stereotyping
• the use of intimidation by both the shopkeeper and the policeman, a civil servant, to suppress

the truth.
• Herr Schneider's role and whether or not he is a victim
5. How does this story illustrate the presence of anti-Semitism at a basic level?




Use two different color highlighters to highlight events related directly to WWII and events related to the Holocaust.
WWII= Holocaust=

March 23 First concentration camp opened at
January 30 Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor March 27 Dachau.
of Germany. April 1-20
Enabling Acts suspending civil liberties.
Summer Jewish shops and businesses boycotted
Jewish professionals excluded from
government jobs, including teaching.

Jewish dietary laws prohibited.

Public burning of books by Jews and
other anti-Nazis.

Jewish professors expelled from universities.

Jewish writers and artists prohibited from
practicing their professions.

Protests by American organizations of
Nazi persecution Of Jews.

October 7 Germany withdraws from League
of Nations.

1934 Hitler names himself "Fuhrer"
over both government and party.
August 2








Danish Resistance During the Holocaust

By Hans Holmskov Schlüter

The events discussed in this informational text take place in the middle of World War II, after the
Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway declared that they would not take sides in the
war. Despite this declaration, Germany invaded Denmark – and despite the still fresh memories and
destruction of World War I, Denmark immediately resisted the invasion (as best as they could, since
Germany far outnumbered them). Germany was a country that had broken a “we won’t mess with you”
treaty— a country that had bullied other countries and their citizens, and had even used its military to kill
thousands. This article describes one example of citizen-led resistance against the powerful country of
Germany during WWII. As you read, take notes on the specific ways that the Danish people resisted the
Nazis, and the impact this had on Jewish citizens.

[1] On the morning of April 9, 1940, German forces
crossed the border into neutral1 Denmark, in
direct violation of a German-Danish treaty of non-
aggression2 signed the previous year. […]

Within the first years of the German occupation3,
the Germans had often raised the question of the
status of the Danish Jews. However, the Danish
government had consistently refused to engage
in any debate on the “Jewish question”4 as they
insisted there existed no “Jewish question” in
Denmark. […]

As the war dragged on, the Danish population "Spectators at the former German headquarters in Copenhagen,
became increasingly hostile5 to the Germans. destroying a swastika flag" is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Nazi soldiers stationed in Denmark had found most of the population cold and distant from the

beginning of the occupation, but their willingness to cooperate had made the relationship workable.

The Danish government had attempted to discourage sabotage6 and violent resistance to the
occupation, but by the autumn of 1942 the number of violent acts of resistance were increasing
steadily to the point that Germany declared Denmark “enemy territory” for the first time.

1. Neutral (adjective): not taking a side
2. Aggression (noun): violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront
3. Here, “occupation” refers to the act of taking over a territory by military force.
4. Meaning, the question of what to do about the Danish Jews
5. Hostile (adjective): very unfriendly; argumentative and possibly even violent
6. Sabotage (noun): the act of destroying or ruining something on purpose

[5] On August 29, 1943, Nazi SS7-General Werner Best declared martial law8 and demanded the
introduction of capital punishment.9 Soon after, Best also decided to launch plans to arrest Jews. On
September 8, he sent a telegram to Berlin: “The time has come to turn our attention to the solution of
the Jewish question.” When final orders for the raid10 arrived from Berlin on September 28, Best
informed his confidant,11 Georg Duckwitz, that Jews would be rounded up within two days, on the night
between October 1 and 2.

Duckwitz leaked the information to Danish politicians and the news spread like wildfire through
friends, business acquaintances, and strangers wanting to help. Ordinary citizens all over the country
offered refuge12 in churches, attics, and country homes, and residences. Complete strangers walked up
to Jews on the street to offer keys to their apartment. Medical staff hid more than 1,000 Jews in
Copenhagen13 hospitals.

On the night of the raid, Germans only found 284 Jews out of almost 8,000 in the population.

The Jews were smuggled out of Denmark by transporting them by sea over the Øresund14 from
Zealand15 to Sweden, a passage of approximately 10 miles. Some were transported in large fishing
boats of up to 20 tons, but others were carried to freedom in rowboats or kayaks. Some refugees were
smuggled inside freight cars on the regular ferries between Denmark and Sweden, this route being
suited for the very young or old who were too weak to endure a rough sea passage. The underground
had broken into empty freight cars sealed by the Germans after inspection, helped refugees onto the
cars, and then resealed the cars with forged16 or stolen German seals17 to forestall further inspection.

Some of the fishermen assisting in the rescue charged money to transport Jews to Sweden, while
others took payments only from those who could afford passage. Some profiteers took advantage of
the confusion and fear during the early days of the escape, but as time passed, the Danish
underground movement ousted18 them and took an active role in organizing the rescue and providing
financing, mostly from wealthy Danes who donated large sums of money for the rescue.

[10] During the first days of the rescue action, Jews swarmed into the many fishing harbors on the Danish
coast for rescue, but the Gestapo19 became suspicious of activity around harbors (and on the night of
October 1-2, eighty Jews were caught hiding in the loft of the church at Gilleleje, their hiding place
betrayed by a Danish girl in love with a German soldier). Subsequent20 rescues had to take place from
isolated21 points along the coast. While waiting their turn, the Jews took refuge in the woods and in
cottages away from the coast, out of sight of the Gestapo.

7. SS stands for Schutzstaffel, Hitler’s paramilitary organization in Nazi Germany.
8. “Martial law” is when a military government takes over a country’s laws.
9. “Capital punishment” refers to the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime.
10. “Raid” refers to a sudden attack on an enemy by armed forces in a war.
11. Confidant (noun): a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others
12. Refuge (noun): safe shelter
13. Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark.
14. Øresund is a narrow passage of water that forms the Danish–Swedish border.
15. Zealand is an island in Denmark.
16. Forged (adjective): fake; not the original
17. A German seal was an official marker or message of German ownership/presence.
18. Oust (verb): to drive out or remove (someone) from a position or place
19. The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany.
20. Subsequent (adjective): later; coming after
21. Isolated (adjective): far away from other places, buildings, or people

In September 1943, the ‘Danish Freedom Council’ was created. This attempted to unify the many
different groups that made up the Danish resistance movement. The council was made up of seven
resistance representatives and one member of British Special Operations Executive (SOE). The
resistance movement grew to over 20,000 and in the lead-up to D-Day,22 acts of sabotage markedly
increased. Though the D-Day landings were to be in Normandy, SOE believed that the more German
soldiers tied up elsewhere in Europe, the less that could be present in northern France. Therefore, the
more acts of sabotage in Denmark, the more German troops would be tied down there.

In 1944, the ‘Danish Freedom Council’ stepped up its efforts and more than 11 million copies of
underground newspapers were published. That June, following a declared state of emergency, the
entire city of Copenhagen went on strike.23 Infuriated, Germany flooded the city with troops, cut off
water and electricity, and established a blockade.24 By July 2, 23 Danes had been killed and more than
203 were wounded. But the dauntless25 Danes persevered. Exasperated, the Germans abandoned
these punitive measures by July.

Later that fall, when the Germans tried to deport26 Danish police officials whom they believed were
turning a blind eye27 to sabotage and disorder, Copenhagen went on strike again, joined this time by
58 other cities and towns. Unafraid of Gestapo arrests, civilians flocked to the resistance movement.
Enrollment exceeded 45,000 at its highest point. In May 1945, war-ravaged Berlin succumbed28 to
advancing Allied forces, prompting Germany to abandon Denmark altogether.

"Danish Resistance During the Holocaust", © 2007, Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. Reprinted with permission, all rights

20 Word Summary

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____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________

22. D-Day refers to June 6, 1944 – the day in which the Allied forces in World War II landed in Normandy, France,
beginning the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control.

23. Strike (noun): the act of refusing to go to work as a way to protest something that is unfair
24. A blockade is the act of sealing off a place to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving.
25. Dauntless (adjective): fearless and determined
26. Deport (verb): to kick out a foreigner from a country (usually because they have committed a crime or are in the

country illegally)
27. “Turning a blind eye” is an idiom that means pretending you didn’t see something (you did, but won’t admit it).
28. Succumb (verb): to give in; to fail at resisting something

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