Lesson Plan

Death with Pride

Examine the acts of resistance that occurred at the killing centers and consider how the ‘success’ and ‘failure’ of these efforts is graded on a different scale.

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Enduring Understanding

Even in settings engineered to create docile victims, Jewish prisoners found the strength to fight back.

Essential Question

  • 1Is revolt meaningful even when it is crushed by the oppressor?


10 Min
Teacher's Note
Students should know what a killing center is, so be sure to review this term with them, distinguishing it from concentration camps. If necessary, return to the lesson about killing centers.

Ask students how they define resistance. What does resistance look like and what form does it take?
Ask them also if they would expect there to be much resistance in killing centers. Why or why not?
Finally, set the stage for their learning: is revolt meaningful even when it is crushed by the oppressor?


25 Min

Read together the page on Resistance from the BBC which gives a brief overview of acts of rebellion against the Nazis that occurred within killing centers.
Attempt to clarify any questions that emerge from the reading before splitting the class into groups. Know that group work will also fill in many details.
Each group will be assigned one of the pop-out links which gives more context and introduces primary sources about specific stories of resistance.
Assign the following pop-out links first, reserving the other links for exceptionally large classes:

‘secret meetings’
‘resistance outside’
‘saved others’
‘saved others’
‘terrible consequences’

Once divided into groups, give each group the task of examining their particular word. It will be their job to report to the group what is meant by the term and summarize the example that is provided. Ask that students not only prepare to speak for 2-3 minutes on their term, but also identify points they would like to investigate more deeply.
The goal for the class is to understand the particularities or nuances to this brief summary.


15 Min

Read the summary again, prompting the group assigned to the word to fill in details about what they learned from their own investigation.

At the end, ask each group to identify what more they would like to know, given the research they did for today’s exercise.

Wisconsin Academic Standards

This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

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