Understanding the Holocaust: A Student Perspective


General Questions

  • What is your initial response to the testimony?
  • What would you ask the survivor after reading this?
  • What messages can we take from these testimonies?
  • How do their stories influence our understanding of this history?
  • What can we learn about human behaviour from the stories of Holocaust survivors?
  • What can we learn about ourselves?

Specific Questions

  • Alec mentioned how they played music during the selection square. Why do you think the Nazis got the Jewish people to play music during the war?
  • Terry mentions that ‘She always believed that she would be freed, and never thought of dying.’ What are your thoughts?
  • Lily mentioned how her family were stripped of all they had, yet she believes she was the only prisoner who managed to enter and leave Auschwitz with gold. What is the significance and symbolism of this?
  • Like Heinz, many people became displaced during the Holocaust in some form– what affect would this have on one’s psyche?

What Can We Do?

  • Learning from these stories and the messages that the survivors give us following their experiences, what can we do to make a difference in the present times?
  • There was a study in 2018, that found that 2/3 millennials did not know what Auschwitz was. Why do you think this is and how do you think we should educate about it?
  • How can we use what we know about the Holocaust and apply it to the wider context of the modern day?
  • Is the way we are educating about the Holocaust engaging enough to people who have been exposed to technology from birth? Have people been desensitised to the imagery of atrocities?
  • Why is it so important to share their testimonies?
  • As survivor’s are finding it harder to tell their stories, how can we ensure that the lessons of the past are never forgotten?
  • What can we do on campus?

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