Holocaust Remembrance Days Information Packet

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Holocaust Remembrance Days

Information Packet
Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day that has been set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding Americans of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred and indifference reign. The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, created by act of Congress in 1980, was mandated to lead the nation in civic commemorations and to encourage appropriate remembrance observances throughout the country. Observances and remembrance activities can occur during the week of remembrance that runs from the Sunday before through the Sunday after the actual date.
While there are obvious religious aspects to such a day, it is not a religious observance as such. The internationally recognized date comes from the Hebrew calendar and corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on that calendar. That is the date on which Israel commemorates the victims of the Holocaust. This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day is May 2nd , and it is called Yom Hashoah. In addition, the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, has endorsed the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust to be May 2nd through May 9th , 2016. Schools should plan appropriate instructional activities recognizing this important event.
Included in this packet, for classroom teaching and resource purposes are the following: the Florida statute requiring public school instruction on the history of the Holocaust, local resources for Holocaust education, common student questions, suggested teaching classroom activities and a comprehensive webography of resources. All of the above are resources from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where further information can be found by logging on to www.ushmm.org.
It is appropriate that all schools observe and support Holocaust Remembrance Day by encouraging and promoting classroom lessons and school wide commemoration activities.

Resources for Holocaust Education
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Department of Social Sciences

Mr. Robert C. Brazofsky 305-995-1599

Executive Director
Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff 305-995-1201

Curriculum Support Specialist/Holocaust Studies

mkassenoff@dadeschools.net / (miriamk10@aol.com)


Community Resources

Holocaust Memorial, Miami Beach, Florida 305-538-1663

To schedule student tours – 50 students per day

South Florida Holocaust Education and 954-929-5690

Documentation Center

Rositta Kenigsberg, Executive Vice President/Executive Director

For survivor visit contact

National Resources
U.S. Holocaust Museum Bookstore 202-220-4304

For books, posters and other resource materials

www.holocaustbooks.org or www.ushmm.org
American Society for Yad Vashem 212-220-4304

NYC Office

Education Department

Required Public School Instruction on the

History of the Holocaust
(2) Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules and regulations of the commissioner, the state board, and the school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following:
(f) The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.

Important Resources from the United States Holocaust Museum for 2016
Click on the links below to access quality resources regarding National Remembrance Days

May 2-9, 2016

Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. Holocaust remembrance week is May 2- 9, 2016. There are multiple theses designated for educational use to assist with planning Remembrance Day activities. Below is a list, with links, to resources produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

This comprehensive listing of all our resources is organized by type. You may find that choosing one of our commemoration themes helps narrow the vast historical topic of the Holocaust.


Why We Remember the Holocaust (08:54)
The Path to Nazi Genocide (38:32)
Confronting the Holocaust: American Responses (16:44)
Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs (11:09)
Voices of Rescue from the Holocaust (12:28)
Justice and Accountability after the Holocaust (10:14)
Witnesses to the Holocaust: Liberation 1945 (14:32)
A Good Man in Hell: General Roméo Dallaire and the Rwanda Genocide (12:39)
Defying Genocide (18:59)
World War II and the Holocaust animated map (06:34)
Browse videos of past Days of Remembrance ceremonies

Resources DVD

Request a free DVD of presentation-quality videos for use in your commemoration

Musical Selections

Musical Selections (PDF)

Names List of Victims of the Holocaust

Names List of Victims of the Holocaust (PDF)

Selected Readings by Theme

American Responses (PDF)
Early Warning Signs (PDF)
Justice and Accountability (PDF)
Rescue (PDF)
Liberation 1945 (PDF)

Historical Essays by Theme

American Responses (PDF)
Early Warning Signs (PDF)
Justice and Accountability (PDF)
Rescue (PDF)
Liberation 1945 (PDF)

Poster sets by Theme

American Responses (PDF)
Early Warning Signs (PDF)
Justice and Accountability (PDF)
Rescue (PDF)
Liberation 1945 (PDF)

PowerPoint Presentations by Theme

American Responses (PPT, 13.2MB)
Early Warning Signs (PPT, 9.1MB)
Justice and Accountability (PPT, 14.5MB)
Rescue (PPT, 1.7MB)
Liberation 1945 (PPT, 3.3MB)

Personal Stories

Personal Histories of Survivors and Victims of the Holocaust (PDF)
Guidelines for Arranging a Survivor Presentation
Sample Questions for Interviewing Holocaust Survivors (PDF)
Contact local survivors through the Association of Holocaust Organizations (external link)
Listen to survivor podcasts

Historical Overview

Holocaust History (PDF Poster Set)
Holocaust History (PPT, 6.1MB)
Introduction to the Holocaust
1938: Key Dates
World War II in Europe
Mosaic of Victims
Third Reich
Jewish Resistance
German Jewish Refugees, 1933–1939
Refuge in Latin America
Emigration and the Evian Conference
The United States and the Holocaust
Liberation of Nazi Camps
The Aftermath of the Holocaust
War Crimes Trials
What Is Genocide?
Read more articles in the Holocaust Encyclopedia

Books and Films

Related Books
Related Films

Event Promotion

View a sample press release
Post your event to our national Days of Remembrance Event Map
Sample Proclamation for Governors (PDF)
Sample Proclamation for Mayors (PDF)
Facebook cover photo (JPEG)

Planning Tools

Getting Started Videos
Program Template: General Audiences (PDF)
Ceremony Template: Faith Communities (PDF)
Observance Template: Military Audiences (PDF)
FAQs about Days of Remembrance
Common Student Questions about the Holocaust

(Source: USHMM.org)

  1. How could Hitler make the Holocaust happen by himself?
    Hitler did not make the Holocaust happen himself. Many, many Germans and non-Germans were involved in the so-called Final Solution. Besides the SS, German government, Nazi party officials who helped to plan and carry out the deportation, concentration, and murder of European Jews, many other “ordinary” people – such as civil servants, doctors, lawyers, judges, soldiers, and railroad workers – played a role in the Holocaust.

  2. Why didn’t they all leave?
    Frequently this question refers to German Jews before the start of 1939. Consider what is involved in leaving one's homeland as well as what sacrifices must be made. German Jews were in most cases patriotic citizens. Over 10,000 died fighting for Germany in World War I, and countless others were wounded and received medals for their valor and service. Jews, whether in the lower, middle, or upper classes, had lived in Germany for centuries and were well assimilated in the early twentieth century.

    It is important to consider how the oppressive measures targeting Jews in the pre-war period were passed and enforced gradually. These types of pre-war measures and laws had been experienced throughout the history of the Jewish people in earlier periods and in other countries as well. No one at the time could foresee or predict killing squads and killing centers.

    Once the difficult decision was made to try to leave the country, a prospective emigrant had to find a country willing to admit them and their family. This was very difficult, considering world immigration policies, as demonstrated by the results of the Evian Conference of 1938. If a haven could be found, consider other things that would be needed to get there.

  3. Why wasn’t there more resistance?
    The impression that Jews did not fight back against the Nazis is a myth. Jews carried out acts of resistance in every country of Europe that the Germans occupied, as well as in satellite states. They even resisted in ghettos, concentration camps and killing centers, under the most harrowing of circumstances. Why is it then that the myth endures? Period photographs and contemporary feature films may serve to perpetuate it because they often depict large numbers of Jews boarding trains under the watchful eyes of a few lightly armed guards. Not seen in these images, yet key to understanding Jewish response to Nazi terror, are the obstacles to resistance.

  4. How did they know who was Jewish?
    Eventually Jews in Germany were locatable through census records. In other countries, Jews might be found via synagogue membership lists, municipal lists or more likely through mandatory registration and information from neighbors or local civilians and officials.

  5. What happened if you disobeyed an order to participate?
    Contrary to popular assumption, those who decided to stop or not participate in atrocities were usually given other responsibilities, such as guard duty or crowd control. Quiet non-compliance was widely tolerated, but public denunciation of Nazi anti-Jewish policy was not.

  6. Wasn’t one of Hitler’s relatives Jewish?
    There is no historical evidence to suggest that Hitler was Jewish. Recent scholarship suggests that the rumors about Hitler’s ancestry were circulated by political opponents as a way of discrediting the leader of an antisemitic party. These rumors persist primarily because the identity of Hitler’s paternal grandfather is unknown; rumors that this grandfather was Jewish have never been proven.

  7. Why were the Jews singled out for extermination?
    The explanation of the Nazis’ hatred of Jews rests on their distorted worldview, which saw history as a racial struggle. They considered the Jews a race whose goal was world domination and who, therefore, were an obstruction to “Aryan” dominance. They believed that all of history was a fight between races, which should culminate in the triumph of the superior “Aryan” race. Therefore, they considered it their duty to eliminate the Jews, whom they regarded as a threat. In their eyes, the Jews’ racial origin made them habitual criminals who could never be rehabilitated and were hopelessly corrupt and inferior. There is no doubt that other factors contributed toward Nazi hatred of Jews and their distorted image of the Jewish people. These included the centuries-old tradition of Christian antisemitism, which propagated a negative stereotype of Jews as murderers of Christ, agents of the devil, and practitioners of witchcraft. Also significant was the political antisemitism of the latter half of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, which singled out Jews as a threat to the established order of society. These combined to point to Jews as a target for persecution and ultimate destruction by the Nazis.

    More information can be found in several Holocaust Encyclopedia articles. Start with the overview of Antisemitism, and then read the related articles on antisemitism through the centuries.

  8. What did the United States know and do?
    Despite a history of providing sanctuary to persecuted peoples, the United States grappled with many issues during the 1930s that made staying true to this legacy difficult, among them wide-spread antisemitism, xenophobia, isolationism, and a sustained economic depression. Unfortunate for those fleeing from Nazi persecution, these issues greatly impacted this nation's refugee policy, resulting in tighter restrictions and limited quotas at a time when open doors might have saved lives.

    Over the years, scholarly investigation into the American reaction to the Holocaust has raised a number of questions, such as: What did America know? What did government officials and civilians do with this knowledge? Could more have been done? Scholars have gauged America's culpability through the government's restrictive immigration measures, its indifference to reported atrocities, and its sluggish efforts to save European Jews. Debates have sparked over key events, including the St. Louis tragedy, the establishment of the War Refugee Board, the role of the American Jewish community, the media's coverage of Nazi violence, and the proposed, but abandoned, bombing of Auschwitz. The topic continues to evolve with the introduction of new documentation and revised hypotheses.


(For the Student Outreach Site - authorization required) 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Homepage. Includes information about: background history and statistics of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, how to plan a visit to the museum, museum membership, community programs, films and lectures, conferences for educators, guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust, historical summaries, a videography for teachers, answers to five frequently asked questions about the Holocaust, Holocaust Resource Centers nationwide, and a searchable database of the Research Institute's archives and library.  


Holocaust Education Foundation includes lesson plans, guest lecturer lists, and curriculum resources.  


Yad Vashem Homepage for Israel's Museum and Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, primarily contains general information, some photographs and excerpts from survivor testimony transcripts. There are educational materials available in Hebrew. 


The Simon Wiesenthal Center Homepage. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international center for Holocaust remembrance, and the defense of human rights and the Jewish people. Contains answers to thirty-six frequently asked questions about the Holocaust, biographies of children who experienced the Holocaust, updates on current events, information on hate groups on the Internet and information about the center and the Museum of Tolerance. Much of this information is available in several languages including English, Spanish, German and Italian. 


Facing History and Ourselves Homepage. Facing History and Ourselves is a national educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. At the present time, their homepage offers basic information about their programs and resources. 


Homepage of the Cybrary of the Holocaust. The Cybrary is probably the largest web site on the Holocaust. It contains a collection of Encyclopedic information, answers to frequently asked questions, curriculum outlines (including a lesson plan on Anne Frank), excerpts from survivor testimony, transcripts of Nazi speeches and official documents, artifact photos, historical photos, artwork, poetry, books written by survivors, links to other Holocaust sites, and more. Both audio clips and transcripts of survivor testimony and interviews with scholars are available. Some of the recent additions to this site include photo tours of Auschwitz, genealogy tracing information, and online chats with scholars.  


Survivors of the Shoah: The Visual History Foundation created by Steven Spielberg has recorded more than 25,000 videotaped interviews with Holocaust survivors. These are being recorded electronically for computer d CD-ROMs to be distributed for museums and other Holocaust education sites. 


Anne Frank On-line. This site is dedicated to everything about the Nazi’s most famous victim.  


Hate Watch is a web-based organization that monitors the growing and evolving threat of hate group activity on the Internet. 


Human Rights USA suggests ideas and tools for advocating and protecting human rights. Encourages community-based actions. 


Anti-Defamation League, an organization founded in 1913 to fight anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. The mission of the ADL is "to stop the defamation of Jewish people, to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike." 


History Channel - Good resources for Holocaust film documentaries.  


Ellis Island Homepage. Information on refugee immigrants arriving into the United States from all countries and cultures.


Social Studies School Service. An on-line catalog of Holocaust videos and resources.


iearn Holocaust/Genocide Project. This is an international nonprofit telecommunications project focusing on the study of the Holocaust and other genocides and involves participating schools around the world. 


Fortunoff video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. Contains general information about the archive and how to use it as well as audio and video clips of several testimonies from survivors, liberators, rescuers and bystanders.


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