From Prejudice to Oppression
Students will go through resources on antisemitism in the early modern era as well as a resource on the Nazi book burning of 1933.
Explore art created by victims of Auschwitz and the reasons and risks people took in order to create them.
Art created by survivors from Auschwitz paint a picture of what life was like in the notorious death camp.
Explain to your students that art can be a powerful way to learn about people and places. In Auschwitz, access to materials was incredibly limited. However, some artists were commissioned to produce art or signs for the Nazis, thus providing them access. Using these materials for personal use was a punishable offense. Some of the art they will see was created while people were in Auschwitz while others were drawn after liberation.
Pull up the resource, Teaching about Auschwitz through Art, by Yad Vashem. As a class, read through the sections: Art as Evidence (1), Portraits (2) and Art as a Means of Conveying (4). While you go through each section, expand the accompanying art and ask students to share what they see and how it makes them feel.
In partners, ask students to discuss their answers to the questions below. Provide 10 minutes for this discussion and then ask for people to share.
This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
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