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Testimonies from the Holocaust


Subject:Social Sciences, Language Arts
Grade:6-8, 9-12

Brief Description
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Students listen to online testimonies from Holocaust survivors as preparation for interviewing Holocaust survivors in their communities.


Students will:

  • read and listen to first-hand accounts of the Holocaust.
  • discuss the meaning of the word survivor as it applies to the Holocaust.
  • use critical-thinking skills to develop questions that might be asked of Holocaust survivors.


Holocaust, Nazi, concentration camp, World War II, survivor, testimony

Materials Needed

Fortunoff Video Archive: Excerpts From Testimonies

Lesson Plan

  • Discuss the meaning of the word survivor.
  • Have students view and listen to selected testimonies of Holocaust survivors at the Fortunoff Video Archive: Excerpts From Testimonies Web site. (Note: Many of the testimonies are longer than a class period. Depending on time constraints and computer availability, you may want to have students view and listen to portions of the testimonies. If viewing and listening to the survivors' stories is not possible for students, teachers might print excerpts of the testimonies, which are available on the site, and distribute them to students.)
  • Have students discuss their reactions to the testimonies. Ask students to develop a set of questions they would ask a Holocaust survivor. This exercise might be done as a whole-class activity or in small groups.
  • Contact your local synagogue(s) to find out whether the congregation(s) has any Holocaust survivors. Ask if you might contact the survivor(s) to talk to students in your class or school about their experiences.
  • If you find a Holocaust survivor who will speak to your class or school, have students ask the questions they prepared before the visit.
  • Conclude by talking again about the meaning of the word survivor. Has their understanding of the meaning of the word changed as a result of this exercise?


Teacher evaluates students' questions, discussions, and reactions. If you receive a visit from a survivor, have students write their reactions to the visit in letters of thanks to the visitor.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Social Sciences:

Language Arts:

Originally published 06/12/2000
Links last updated 03/28/2006