Institute News

Two Polish-Language Lessons Available Online for Teachers

USC Shoah Foundation has published two Polish-language lessons about the Holocaust, complete with clips from the Visual History Archive, on the USC Shoah Foundation website. They are available for free to educators around the world.

One lesson is called “People and War: Beginning of World War II in the Accounts of Eyewitnesses.” It covers the events leading up to World War II in Poland including the German and Soviet invasions, Nazi persecution, propaganda and stereotyping. The second lesson is “Facing the Holocaust,” and focuses on the role of rescuers, perpetrators and passive bystanders in the Holocaust.

Both lessons come complete with lesson guidelines for teachers, historical information and supplementary materials, such as discussion questions for students and other activities. In addition, each lesson includes clip reels of testimony of Polish Holocaust survivors and witnesses from the Visual History Archive. The survivors and witnesses describe their firsthand experiences with resistance movements, Nazi policies and discrimination, attempts to escape, interactions with passive bystanders and perpetrators, and more.

The lessons are intended for high school students.

Developed by USC Shoah Foundation, “People and War” was written by former Poland regional consultant Anna Motyczka and senior international program consultant Martin Šmok, and “Facing the Holocaust” was written by acclaimed historians and educators Robert Szuchta and Piotr Trojański. “Facing the Holocaust “ was also developed in partnership with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.