Lesson Plan

The Anguish of Liberation

Watch a short video with testimony about the reality of liberation and life after the war in Displaced Person (DP) camps. Students will engage with the content by exploring a variety of questions about the post-war situation for Holocaust victims.

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The Holocaust
DP Camps

Enduring Understanding

The period immediately following the war was often one of the most difficult for Jewish survivors.

Essential Question

  • 1Why did survivors struggle so much once the war was over?


5 Min
Teacher's Note
Students should have a basic understanding of the conditions in concentration and death camps before continuing this lesson.

Explain to the students that the end of the war left millions of people homeless; that liberation was difficult for many survivors because of the mental and physical problems that they had to overcome.


20 Min

Lead a short discussion asking the students what they think Holocaust survivors felt, and some of the problems that they had when they learned the war was over. Take time to list individual answers.

Watch this short video by Yad Vashem with the class, with a short pause between each survivor. Ask students to list different problems and feelings that survivors discuss in their testimonies.


20 Min

Lead another short discussion, asking the students if there were any problems that survivors faced that they had not thought about before, writing the answers on the board. Ask the students if there is any story/feeling in particular that stuck out to them in these survivor stories.

Discuss the following questions as a class:

  1. Why did survivors feel like liberation came too late?
  2. What were some of the immediate health issues that survivors had to deal with after the war?
  3. How do you think it felt for a survivor to meet liberating soldiers?
  4. Why do you think it is something that survivors will remember?

Wisconsin Academic Standards

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

Teacher Primer

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