Government and civics, world history and English Language Arts
One 45 minute class period
Warm Up Activity
- Ask students the following questions about genocide:
- What is genocide?
- How do neighbors end up turning against neighbors?
- If you have time, play the first 11 mintues from “Worse than War” to give students a background in genocide. Click here to watch the film. Warning- this film has some graphic images and difficult subject matter and is meant for older students or at the teacher’s discretion.
- Ask students what they know about Kristallnacht and write answers on the board. Prompt students for the who, what, where, when, why and how.
- Either watch the short video clip about Kristallnacht from PBS or read the background article “Kristallnacht, 75 Years Ago”
- Click here for the video clip and click here for the article.
- Listen to the NPR story “Bearing Witness to Nazis’ Life-Shattering Kristallnacht.”
- Watch the interview of Fritz Gluckstein, a survivor of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.
- Read the fact sheet “Jewish people’s experiences of discrimination and hate crime in European Union Member States.”
(answers can be written or verbally shared):
- What role did Kristallnacht play in the larger Holocaust?
- Describe what happened at Kristallnacht? Have other “Kristallnachts” taken place since 1938? Are there any indications that similar events are happening now? Explain your answers.
- What can we do to prevent another “Kristallnacht”? What can we do as individuals? What can we do as a country?