As Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) is recognized, SCOE acknowledges that preventing future acts of genocide depends on educating youth about historical events.
“The Nazis came into our home. They banged on the door, they went through the house looking for valuables and money. [My father and the other men] were arrested by the Nazis and taken to Dachau, one of the first concentration camps established by the Nazis.” It was November 9, 1938, and a coordinated, nationwide wave of antisemitic violence (which became known as the “Night of Broken Glass”) was taking place across Germany.
Hanna Krebs, a child survivor of the Holocaust, recently told her family’s story as part of a four-part series of workshops for teachers about the Holocaust and genocide. The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) hosted the series in partnership with Avenues for Change, an organization dedicated to providing California teachers with professional development opportunities related to the Holocaust and genocide.
The Holocaust was one of the most significant tragedies of the 20th century, and it remains a deeply troubling part of human history. It’s crucial for students to learn about the Holocaust and the events surrounding it, not only to understand the magnitude of the horrors that occurred, but to appreciate the importance of respect and tolerance for all people. Krebs concludes her interview by saying, “We realize that people really don't understand [historical events], don’t know what happened then, and what we have to do now to try to make this a better world. Education is the key.”
A video recording of the interview with Hanna Krebs is embedded below, including a description of how her family eventually escaped to New York.
Professional Development Opportunities
Educators are invited to register for a seminar called “Cultivating Social Responsibility: Lessons from the Holocaust and the Rich Soil of the Central Valley of California.” Focused on the social role of resistance, the training will be held June 19–23, 2023, in Fresno. Educators will leave the seminar with resources to develop lessons about the Holocaust and to extend that learning to issues that directly affect the lives of their students. The training qualifies for two professional development units through Fresno State University.
SCOE lists its professional learning opportunities online. Educators may also request to join SCOE’s K–12 Curriculum and Instruction listserv by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- IWitness—classroom resources, including video testimony, professional development, student project ideas, and more
- IWitness Dimensions in Testimony—students and educators can ask questions that prompt real-time responses from a pre-recorded video of Holocaust survivors
- USC Shoah Foundation Films and Media—short films for a variety of grade levels
- USC Shoah Foundation—offers more than 55,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors
- The Return to Life in the Displaced Persons Camps (1945–56)
- Avenues for Change: Holocaust & Genocide Education—connects educators with experts on the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights topics