Lesson Plan

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.

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Enduring Understanding

Antisemitism and oppression has plagued the Jewish people for centuries. In the early modern era, and continuing on into Nazi rule, the Jews were kept from working certain jobs and often looked at in a negative light.

Essential Question

  • 1How does prejudice turn into violent oppression?


5 Min

Ask students what it means to be an oppressed group. Can you think of some groups throughout history that faced oppression?


30 Min

Walk students through the resource, Antisemitism in History: The Early Modern Era, 1300-1800 by the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Then ask your students, why do people generalize characteristics for an entire group? How can this be dangerous? Take a few minutes to discuss this as a class before moving on.

Next, pull up the resource, Book Burning by the USHMM Holocaust Encyclopedia and go over the Critical Thinking Questions at the bottom of the page.


10 Min

In groups of five, ask students to consider the following question:

  1. What tends to follow acts of oppression? Does it always lead to violence? What about revolution?
  2. What are some ways you can think of to counter prejudice and oppression?
Teacher Primer

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