Grade Level and Learning Objectives
Charles Guggenheim, a four-time Academy Award®-winning documentary filmmaker, narrates the story of Berga. The documentary opens with a still photo of Mr. Guggenheim with his army unit, Company C, 7th BN, at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, in 1943. Mr. Guggenheim tells us:
This picture was taken over 50 years ago. World War II. My company. I'm in there someplace. I can remember their faces, just like yesterday. And they went overseas, and I didn't. And some of them didn't come back. And I've been thinking about it for fifty years. Wondering why it didn't happen to me. That's why I had to tell this story.
The documentary closes with the words of Milton Stolon, a former Berga POW: "It's no good to remember. It's not good. But you have to remember, because people forget what went on. And you must remember this, you must remember this vividly."
This lesson plan considers BERGA: SOLDIERS OF ANOTHER WAR as part of the literature of the Holocaust. The writer and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel has written that "if the Greeks invented tragedy. . . our generation invented a new literature, that of testimony." Like other examples of this new literature, BERGA: SOLDIERS OF ANOTHER WAR focuses on the need to remember, to recall details, and to locate and recover the specific stories of individuals touched by the Holocaust.
20th Century US History, 20th Century World History
Students will be able to:
- Understand the Holocaust from the unique perspective of American prisoners of war
- Study first hand accounts of historic events
- Appreciate the importance of memory and testimony in recording the impact of the Holocaust
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
World History Standards and Benchmarks
MCREL Standard 41, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands the Holocaust and its impact on Jewish culture and European society
Historical Understanding Standard and Benchmarks
MCREL Standard 2, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands how the past affects our private lives and society in general
Language Arts Standard and Benchmarks
MCREL Standard 1, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Writes fictional, biographical, autobiographical, and observational narrative compositions
This lesson was prepared by: Thomas Thurston