Art created by survivors from Auschwitz paint a picture of what life was like in the notorious death camp.
- 1What makes art a significant resource for telling history?
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.
- What are the different reasons why people created art about their experiences?
- How do these pieces help tell the story of the Holocaust?
- What does it say about the importance of art that people risked their lives to create it in the camp?
Wisconsin Academic Standards
This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.