Skip to Main Content

Holocaust Remembrance Day: “Education is the Key”

SCOE Partners on Teacher Series About Holocaust; Training Available

Parents holding small child onboard a ship

During a February workshop SCOE partnered to host for teachers, Holocaust survivor Hanna Krebs holds up a photo showing her in the arms of her parents as they arrive by ship in New York.

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

Educator Resources

Hanna Krebs holding a photo of her family's synagog

Krebs holds up a photo of her family synagog in Augsburg, Germany, which was burned, but later rebuilt.

Krebs holding birth certificate

Her birth certificate is emblazoned with an official Nazi stamp, and she explained that her compulsory middle name is Sarah, which helped identify her as a Jew.

Hanna Krebs pointing to photo

Krebs points to her grandfather in a photo, one of a group of Jewish men forced to march down the street holding a Star of David before eventually being released.