This Educator Video Toolbox is aligned to Echoes & Reflections, a comprehensive Holocaust education program that delivers professional development and a rich array of multimedia resources for middle and high school teachers. This video complements Lesson 2: Antisemitism. It addresses key historical context, supports your teaching, and provides a methodological and pedagogical framework to help you teach this subject effectively. Professional development programs for middle and high school educators are taking place around the country; you can find one near you here.
What is antisemitism and what role did it play in Nazi Germany?
How can we teach and explain to students the concept of antisemitism?
Antisemitism did not begin when Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933. Antisemitism had long been entrenched in Germany and other European countries, and Jews for many centuries had been victims of widespread hatred and suspicion. We present the different forms antisemitism has taken over the centuries and the innovations brought to antisemitism by the Nazis in order to better explain the historical context of the rise of racial antisemitic ideology.
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: A New Phenomenon or Part of a Continuum?
- Part 3: Jews in Nazi Ideology
- Part 4: Nazi Propaganda
- Part 5: Antisemitism Today
Dr Robert Rozett is Director of the Yad Vashem Libraries, as well as an author, researcher and senior editor on Holocaust-related subjects.
Shani Lourie is a staff member at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem.
Sheryl Silver Ochayon is a staff member at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem.
For additional information about Echoes & Reflections click here.
Further pedagogical considerations
- It is impossible to learn or to understand the Holocaust without discussing antisemitism, since antisemitism was central in Nazi ideology. Without antisemitism, the murder of the Jews could not have happened.
- Antisemitism is the longest hatred. Throughout history antisemitism has taken on different forms, and has been influenced by the time and place in which it occurs: cultures, beliefs, theories and events have shaped the manifestation of antisemitism. Nevertheless there are salient elements which have consistently repeated themselves.
- Nazi antisemitism was based on pre-existing antisemitic sentiment over which was superimposed the Nazis' racist ideology.
- Antisemitism is not another legitimate historical narrative or social perspective; rather it is based on falsifications, distortions and stereotypes.
- Unfortunately, the Holocaust did not abolish antisemitism; antisemitism, at different levels, continues to exist today all over the world.
- When exposing students to antisemitic materials special care should be taken since it could cause the opposite reaction and provoke antisemitism.