The following guest post is by a subscriber and teaching colleague, Marsha Goren. Marsha’s mother survived the Holocaust, and now Marsha has launched a website with educational resources to educate students about the realities of this global tragedy. In January of each year, the UN declares a day to remember the victims of the Holocaust. This year’s special focus was on the one-and-a-half million Jewish children who died during the war. You can find Marsha at her site, GlobalDreamers.org, along with a host of resources, lesson plans, and activities.
I am the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.
My mother Sonia Frenkel was a survivor of Majdanek, one of the harshest concentration camps in Poland, and Auschwitz, as well. Before passing away in 1991, she requested that I teach the next generation about the Holocaust. It was important to her that the young learn about the Holocaust. I wanted to honor my mother’s request and go a step further. I decided to educate the young about the Holocaust by promoting tolerance among children around the world. I wanted to personalize this unit of learning so that younger students could learn about some of the victims and hear other views without dwelling on the horrors. My goal was to also create something new and innovative in the teaching of the Holocaust that would coincide with curriculum usage. While it was personally difficult, I felt it was a task I had to undertake.
Last year, the United Nations declared an International Day for Holocaust Remembrance. This motivated me even more to involve as many educators in my project as possible. As a result, children from many different countries participated in our Holocaust Unit and contributed wonderful materials for everyone’s awareness around the world, and I launched a new international project, Globaldreamers.
The influence that teachers have on their students is vital for the future. Teaching is more than imparting facts and figures. In order for children to gain a new insight about the Holocaust, it is my generation’s responsibility to educate the next generation so that they will remember. Only with that knowledge will history never repeat itself
It is important that students learn to distinguish between tolerance and intolerance. They must also speak out whenever intolerance is present. Our site is dedicated to this mission. With the exchange of ideas and dreams, children learn that we all share common experiences. There are lessons to be learned from the atrocities of the past, and I am grateful I have a chance to teach some of them.
- Marsha Goren, GlobalDreamers.org
How have you taught about the Holocaust in the past? Do you see intolerance in the student culture in your school?