The lessons include segments of video testimonies of Holocaust survivors, rescuers, and American liberators from the Shoah Foundation’s archive, and are intended to help students make connections between questions of cultural diversity, intolerance, and genocide in both past and contemporary settings, placed within an historical context.
The first-person video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses featured in Echoes and Reflections offer distinct perspectives on this historical event. Use of visual history testimonies establishes an emotional connection as students hear survivors share their life stories before the Holocaust, their struggle to survive, and their resiliency of spirit. This opportunity to affect students provides an opening for learning that can continue long after students have left the classroom.
While watching these testimonies, students see a face and hear a voice, helping them realize that behind the statistics of the Holocaust are real people with individual stories to tell. It has never been more important to pay attention to the life stories of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses. Their generation is the last one to bear witness to the Holocaust, making their testimony invaluable both as a historical record and as an educational tool for future generations.