University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Holocaust Education

Annotated Bibliography

Baron, L. (2001, Spring), Experiencing, explaining, and exploiting the Holocaust.  Judiasm, 50(2), 158-175. Retrieved January 24, 2003 from ProQuest database.

Holocaust representation is the focus of this article.  Baron offers a scholarly assessment of how Holocaust memoirs have historically added to our understanding of the Holocaust His analysis identifies three educational themes; experiencing, explaining, and exploiting that many contemporary Holocaust memoirs are based upon. His analysis suggests the Holocaust is being remembered and commemorated in a variety of ways which he deems educationally enriching.  He challenges future educators/scholars to use a combination of representation forms including feature films, novels, artwork, and drama to expand the public's knowledge and perceptions of the Holocaust.

Ben-Bassat , Nurith. (2000, Fall). Holocaust awareness and education in the United States.  Religious Education, 95(4), 402-423.  Retrieved January 24, 2003 from ProQuest database.

This article focuses on the historical development of Holocaust awareness and education in the United States.   According to this author, there have been crucial military conflicts, media publications, legal proceedings, political ideologies, community mores, and academic tensions that have historically influenced the nature of public discourse and study about the Holocaust in the United States.   He explains how scholars have differed in their perceptions about the Holocaust's uniqueness and how these perceptual differences have influenced what our nation remembers, commemorates, and teaches about the Holocaust at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. or anywhere else.   Mandating Holocaust education is another important topic discussed in this article.  This author seriously questions the wisdom of mandating Holocaust education when many teachers have been and remain ill-prepared to adequately perform these types of teaching responsibilities.

Corbitt, J.C. , (1998, January). Au Revoir to film illiteracy: An interdisciplinary exploration of Au Revoir Les Enfants. English Journal 87(1), 83-87. Retrieved February 2, 2003 from ProQuest database.

This article examines the educational value of using film to teach secondary students about historical events like the Holocaust. Corbitt contends that films are very powerful teaching tools if educators select them properly and teach their students to view them with media savvy.   He demonstrates how this educational task can be accomplished by outlining the instructional steps involved in teaching a specific classroom unit about the film, Au Revoir Les Enfants. This educational curriculum features many thought-provoking discussion topics that can be used to stimulate greater thought and reflection about the historical themes related to the  Holocaust.

Danks, C. (1996). Using the literature of Elie Wiesel and selected poetry to teach the Holocaust in the secondary school history classroom.  The Social Studies, May/June 1996, 101-104.  Retrieved January 26, 2003 from ProQuest database.

This author discusses the merits of using literature and poetry to enhance secondary students' knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust.  She argues that this type of teaching approach can be very beneficial if her proposed criterion for literature selection is used and taught in a constructive manner.  In this article she provides illustrative examples of how teachers can use specific pieces of literature written by prominent Holocaust authors, including Elie Wiesel, Dan Pagis, and Nelly Sachs to enrich the quality of their students' learning experiences about the Holocaust.

Doerr, K. (2000, Spring). Memories of history – Women and the Holocaust. Shofar,18     (3).  Retrieved February 1, 2003 from

This article provides critical insights about how the memory of women's experiences in the Holocaust is being kept alive by comparing an autobiographic and a fictionalized memoir of the Holocaust.  This comparative analysis addresses how Ruth Kluger's autobiography, weiter leben-eine Jugend (1992) and Sherri Szeman's fictionalized memoir, The Commandant's Mistress (1993)  differ with respect to how the author narrates the story, represents the perpetrator, and depicts the sexual violation of women.  This author's critique raises important concerns about how historically accurate this fictionalized memoir represents actual life experiences of female Holocaust survivors or victims.   Her research findings caution educators to be discrete about their usage of fictionalized memoirs to teach about the Holocaust

Fox, R. (1997, May/June), Exploring the Holocaust. Emergency Librarian , 24(5), 8-13. Retrieved February 2, 2003 from ProQuest database.

The focus of this article addresses the Holocaust education of middle school children.  Fox describes some of the teaching strategies she and her teaching colleagues have used to enhance their student's knowledge of the Holocaust and its historical legacy. She explains their teaching curriculum relies strongly on children's exposure to Holocaust literature because these types of stories serve several educational purposes including the theme of inspiring, challenging and motivating students to act in more kind and compassionate ways.   Additional reasons for using Holocaust literature are further elaborated in the annotated bibliography she includes in this article for middle school children.

Goldenberg, Myrna. (1996, November). Lessons learned from gentle heroism: Women's Holocaust narratives.  Annuals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 548, 78-93.  Retrieved February 1, 2003 from

The historical significance of women's Holocaust narratives is the major topic addressed in this article.  Goldenberg validates their historical importance by describing crucial ways women and men's Holocaust memoirs differ.  Primary differences she notes are that women's memoirs discuss taboo topics such as rape, childbirth, and pregnancy that men's memoirs do not, and they inform us women relied on more cooperative, caring, and gentle coping strategies to survive the Holocaust than did men.  This author contends the resourceful wisdom exercised by these Holocaust heroines deserves to be publicly acknowledged, respected, and honored.  Truly, she argues it has lasting educational value for all of us today, irrespective of our religious, ethnic, or national identity.

Gorell, N. (1997, December). Teaching the Holocaust:  Light from the yellow star leads the way. English Journal.  50-55. Retrieved January 26, 2003 from ProQuest database.

In this article, Gorrell provides a positive summary about Robert Fisch's Holocaust memoir entitled, Light from the Yellow Star:  A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust.  She shares insightful testimonial about how Fisch's artistic images and well-constructed prose deepened her students' understanding and empathy for Holocaust victims and survivors.  Further, she contends this book is a very valuable teaching tool in helping both students and teachers  learn more about why racism, prejudice, and discrimination occurs and how it continues to be historically perpetuated.

Kern, N. (2001, November).  An end to intolerance: Exploring the Holocaust and genocide. English Journal, 91(2), 100-104. Retrieved February 2, 2003 from ProQuest database.

In this article Kern highlights her use of technology to foster her high school students' knowledge of the Holocaust.  She describes a Holocaust/genocide internet-based learning activity she helped create for her students that allowed them to communicate globally with their peers about commonly assigned Holocaust literature items.  She identifies a number of positive learning outcomes related to this on-line learning initiative.   Her teaching testimonial validates the constructive role the Internet can play in further promoting Holocaust education.

Rapaport, Lynn. (2002). Hollywood's Holocaust: Schindler's list and the construction of memory. Film & History, 32(1), 55-65.

This author examines how educationally appropriate it is for the movie industry to recreate stories about the Holocaust by providing a critical analysis of the popular film, "Schindler's List".  Her analysis features an evaluation of this movie's filming techniques, character development, and story line.  Her critique highlights significant ways fact and fiction is incorporated in this film.  She cautions educators about using Hollywood representations of this type because their primary goal is often to entertain not educate.

Reardon, P. (2000, August). Never Again: Six ways to teach our children about the Holocaust. U.S. Catholic 29-32. Retrieved  February 2, 2003 from ProQuest database.

This article addresses the topic of educating grade-school children about the Holocaust.   Reardon legitimizes the need for these children to be educated about the Holocaust by pointing out the destructive consequences of Nazi hatred referenced in the Holocaust memoir, There Once Was A World   and sharing his personal experience with Holocaust denial.  To avoid these types of genocidal threats from reoccurring Reardon recommends parents as well as teachers educate children about the Holocaust, emphasizing its civic, moral and social implications.   He suggests several educational strategies for mastering these types of teaching responsibilities.

Shweitzer, F. (2000, Fall). Education after Auschwitz—Perspectives from Germany. Religious Education, 95(4), 360-372. Retrieved January 24, 2003 from ProQuest database.

In this article, Schweitzer explores some of the problematic issues associated with teaching about the Holocaust in Germany.  He contends that providing Holocaust education in Germany is difficult because of the political, spiritual, and moral sensitivities it raises.  For many Germans, he claims it is an extremely humiliating and shameful historical event to remember and be reminded about.   According to this author, teaching the Holocaust can be a very challenging experience, but one which can be mastered with creative thinking, self-analysis, historical awareness, and continued effort.  He advocates that moral education is a vital aspect of Holocaust Studies

Totten, S. (1998, Febuary). The start is an important as the finish: Establishing a foundation for study of the Holocaust. Social Education, 62(2), 70-76. Retrieved February 2, 2003 from ProQuest database.

This article discusses the importance of teachers appropriately structuring their learning activities for high school students about the Holocaust.  Totten advises teachers to begin this teaching task by first assessing what their students know and do not know about the Holocaust before proceeding to studying/analyzing this historical event in greater depth.  It is Totten's opinion, these initial efforts help establish a supportive classroom environment in which more meaningful and engaging learning about the Holocaust can take place.  He describes four types of teaching strategies that could be used by to properly complete these assessments and begin the study of the Holocaust in a well-constructed manner.

Totten, S. (2000).  Diminishing the complexity and horror of the Holocaust:  Using simulations in an attempt to convey historical experiences. Social Education 64, 165-171.   Retrieved January 20, 2003 from ProQuest database.

In this article Totten discusses the merits of using classroom simulations to enhance students' study of the Holocaust.   His analysis of teachers' previous use of classroom simulations concludes these types of historical recreations are much too swallow and artificial to effective help students personally relate to the life experiences of Holocaust victims, survivors, and perpetuators.  He recommends that survivor testimonials, memoirs, and narratives are more genuine ways to increase students' knowledge and appreciation of the Holocaust and its historical legacy.  This article features the names of specific authors and titles of Holocaust literature Totten encourages teachers to use to enhance the authenticity of students' future learning experiences about the Holocaust.

Wegner, G. (1998).  "What lessons are there from the Holocaust for my generation today?"  Perspectives on civic virtue from middle school youth. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 13, 2, 167-183.  Retrieved January 26, 2003 from ProQuest database.

This article summarizes the results of a research study conducted to assess how well teachers were promoting civic virtues in their Holocaust curriculums.   This assessment involved two hundred middle school students in Wisconsin authoring written essays in response to the question, "What lessons from the Holocaust are there for my generation today?"  The outcome of this research offers positive feedback as many students responded in a civically and socially responsible manner.   The author of this article strongly recommends teachers infuse their Holocaust curriculums with important lessons about moral and ethical decision making in addition to teaching strictly factual information.