Mapping Stories of Extermination
Explore an interactive map and tap into first-hand accounts from various sites of massacre across Eastern Europe, a space that came to be known as the Bloodlands.
Contextualize the experience of Americans in the late 1930s by highlighting the social and economic facts of the day and examining news artifacts from the era.
Americans were aware of the rise of Fascism in Europe during the years prior to the Holocaust and many supported this movement.
Ask students whether they can identify how their opinions about the world are shaped. What are the things that influence their perception of what is going on?
Then, set the stage for what Americans would have been experiencing in 1938. Ask your students, what do they know about the US in 1938? Its economy? Sports? Life? How did people at that time get their information- newspapers, movies, radio? How might their views of the world have been shaped?
Have students watch the video American Newsreel from USHMM’s Americans and the Holocaust exhibit website. Begin by watching the first 2:15, through the Silver Shirts newspaper campaign.
Prompt students to consider the content of the first two minutes in large discussion or via pair-and-share.
Continue watching the video through 4:45, with the meeting of Mussolini and Hitler and then stop to ask questions about the information being distributed in America:
Finally, watch the last two minutes of the video, which is an excerpt from March of Time which gave Americans a glimpse into life in Nazi Germany. After the video, ask students to draft short answers to these questions and either generate discussion from them or collect as an assignment:
This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Before you teach, use our teacher primer to freshen up on your content knowledge.