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Lesson Plans

Kristallnacht, 75 years later - Lesson Plan

November 12, 2013

Full Lesson



Government and civics, world history and English Language Arts

Estimated Time

One 45 minute class period

Grade Level

High School

Warm Up Activity

  1. Ask students the following questions about genocide:
    • What is genocide?
    • How do neighbors end up turning against neighbors?
  2. 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.
  3. Ask students what they know about Kristallnacht and write answers on the board. Prompt students for the who, what, where, when, why and how.
  4. Either watch the short video clip about Kristallnacht from PBS or read the background article “Kristallnacht, 75 Years Ago”

Main Activity

  1. Listen to the NPR story “Bearing Witness to Nazis’ Life-Shattering Kristallnacht.”
  2. Watch the interview of Fritz Gluckstein, a survivor of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.
  3. Read the fact sheet “Jewish people’s experiences of discrimination and hate crime in European Union Member States.”

Discussion Questions

(answers can be written or verbally shared):

  1. What role did Kristallnacht play in the larger Holocaust?
  2. 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.
  3. What can we do to prevent another “Kristallnacht”? What can we do as individuals? What can we do as a country?