Jewish Responses to the Holocaust – Discussion and Critical Thinking Exercise

Jessica Rockhold
Midwest Center for Holocaust Education

Grade Level
7th-12th grade

Social Studies
Language Arts/Reading

Time Needed
2 class period(s)

Jewish responses to the Holocaust are best described as “choiceless choices.” They were put in positions to make judgments and decisions without there being real, viable alternatives to their situation. Despite this, many decisions were made.

Students often have a difficult time understanding why Jews did not “just leave” or “just shoot a Nazi.” This critical thinking exercise is designed to help them understand the dilemmas and decisions faced by Jews during the Holocaust and to put that into the context of real people’s lives with the help of primary source testimony.

Teacher Instructions
Teacher Answer Key
Jewish Responses Profiles
Timeline of the Holocaust

Student Readings
Obstacles to Jewish Immigration
Bialystok Resistance Debate
Anne Frank Reading by Melissa Muller

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