Institutions such as religion can contribute to the spread of hatred and lies that can be used to justify violence against others. Hitler drew on this hatred and expanded it, but he did not invent it.
- 1How can religion bring us closer to other people, and how can it be used to justify hatred and violence against others?
Ask students to define prejudice. Ask them about the sources of prejudice. Is prejudice always taught within families, or can institutions also teach prejudice? Although this reading focuses on religion, teachers should name a number of institutions in the general discussion, such as religion, schools, government, and medicine.
Explain the concept of the Blood Libel to students. The blood libel refers to the false allegation that Jews used the blood of non-Jewish, usually Christian children, for ritual purposes. You can provide a brief overview of blood libel using Holocaust Encyclopedia – Blood libel.
Explain that the document you are about to share is antisemitic and spreads lies about Jews. Pull up the primary resource, Proclamation Inciting a Jewish Pogrom (1903) and continue to the Output section.
The output for this lesson is done as a whole class, to avoid printing out an antisemitic text and having a student leave with it. As a class, highlight the lies about Jews in this document on the screen. Then ask students, How does the text justify violence against Jews? Using a different color, highlight the calls to violence in the document. Ask students what the date of the document (1903) shows us about the Holocaust.
Wisconsin Academic Standards
This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.