Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I teach in a Catholic school in the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri. I currently am teaching a unit on the Holocaust to my 8th grade students. I use resources from Echoes and Reflections for survivor testimony and primary source documents. I began my unit with a lesson on antisemitism using the phrase “the longest hatred” and the quote from Raul Hilberg, “You may not live among us as Jews; you may not live among us; and you may not live." My students looked at centuries old feelings toward Jews and how that changed from a religious-based hatred to one based on political and racial reasons. This sparked interesting dialogue with students concerning the role of the Church in the religious persecution of Jews.

One thing that I do each day in class is to read a selection from Flares of Memory edited by Anita Brostoff. I choose selections that correspond with the material that we are covering in class. This week we are focusing on pre-war Germany so the selections are from that time period. I always begin class with this activity. I started out reading the selections myself, but students now want to read these. It is just one more way to personalize the study of the Holocaust. This is an excellent way to initiate dialogue with students on the material that is being studied.

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