The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has identified topic areas for you to consider while planning a course of study on the Holocaust. We recommend that you introduce your students to these topics even if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust. An introduction to the topic areas is essential for providing students with a sense of the breadth of the history of the Holocaust.
World War II in Europe
Murder of the Disabled (Euthanasia Program)
Persecution and Murder of Jews
Mobile Killing Squads (Einsatzgruppen)
Expansion of the Concentration Camp System
Additional Victims of Nazi Persecution
Jewish Resistance and Non-Jewish Resistance
In addition to these core topic areas, we recommend that, in your courses, you provide context for the events of the Holocaust by including information about antisemitism, Jewish life in Europe before the Holocaust, the aftermath of World War I, and the Nazi rise to power.
- European Antisemitism from Its Origins to the Holocaust (13 minutes) Prepares high school and college students for a discussion of why Jews have been targeted throughout history and how antisemitism offered fertile ground to the Nazis.
- The Path to Nazi Genocide (38 minutes) Provides a concise overview of the Holocaust and provokes reflection and discussion about the role of ordinary people, institutions, and nations.
- Defying Genocide (19 minutes) Chronicles the story of Damas Gisimba, an orphanage director who helped save some 400 people during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
- Introduction to the Holocaust
- Liberation of Nazi Camps
- The Aftermath of the Holocaust
- Photographs, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Artifacts, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Documents, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Organized by theme, this site uses text, historical photographs, maps, images of artifacts, and audio clips to provide an overview of the Holocaust. It is the first step in a growing resource for middle and secondary level students and teachers, with content that reflects the history as it is presented in the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition, The Holocaust.
- Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Personal Histories, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Survivor Testimonies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Oral History Collection, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- In the First Person: An index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives, Alexander Street Press LLC. Offers keyword searching of the letters, diaries, oral histories, and personal accounts of more than 18,000 individuals who lived from the 16th century to the present day. Includes audio and video testimonies and transcripts to interviews with Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans.
- Learning Voices of the Holocaust, British Library. An online library of oral history testimonies created from interviews with survivors living in Britain. Provides a teacher's guide with materials for classroom activities. Also presents background on various aspects of Holocaust history, maps, a Holocaust chronology and a glossary, all aimed at students. Prepared by the British Library.
- Telling Their Stories: Oral Histories Archives Project, The Urban School of San Francisco. Presents text and video clips of oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors and liberators, as well as Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in relocation camps in Utah and Wyoming during World War II. A project of the Urban School of San Francisco.
- The Voices of Survivors, Yad Vashem. Throughout our website the voices of the survivors infuse our online exhibitions, historical narratives, teaching units and ceremonies with content and with meaning. We have gathered many of those testimonies in this section where they can be easily accessed by either topic or location. This section will continue to grow as more and more testimonies are added to the website.