Who Was Responsible for the Holocaust?
Common Core Aligned
This critical-thinking activity asks students to determine who was responsible for the Holocaust and to what extent they are guilty of crimes against humanity.
Students create a circle graph (or pie chart) in which they assign the person(s) responsible the percentage of responsibility they should bear for the Holocaust. Although students do not have to use every category, all percentages must add up to 100%.
Student choices include:
RED: Residents of Auschwitz and other towns near concentration camps who knew about the camps but did nothing to stop them.
BLUE: Minor Nazi soldiers who carried out the mass extermination orders without questioning their superiors.
GREEN: Hitler, the leader of the German nation who hated Jewish people and other “undesirables” and wanted them destroyed.
YELLOW: German citizens who voted for Hitler and the Nazi Party to revitalize their morale and their economically depressed country.
ORANGE: The Jewish people who did not attempt to escape.
PURPLE: Top SS officers who designed and executed the "final solution" for Hitler.
BROWN: Non-Jewish Europeans who turned against their fellow citizens for fear that they, too, would be imprisoned as Jewish sympathizers.
BLACK: Leaders of the Allied countries who saw evidence of the Holocaust, but initially refused to get involved or voice opposition to Hitler.
PINK: Churches of all denominations who remained silent and refused to intervene when confronted with evidence of the Holocaust.
GRAY: Yahweh, the God of the Jewish faith, who to many seemed absent and silent during this massive genocide.
The insights, sensitivity, compassion, and empathy students bring to your post-activity discussion will amaze you and make you feel secure in the capabilities of the next generation!
I have used this activity with huge success with eighth graders following our unit on "The Diary of Anne Frank"
and "Night" by Elie Wiesel
. Reminders that their work will be posted and should reflect their personal pride and respect for the topic at hand have always resulted in a thoughtful, meaningful display.
This 7-page product includes:
-Integration of art
-Integration of math
-Hands-on, kinesthetic activity
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