On the eve of WWII, the interwar Jewish world was creative and complex, a rich mosaic, full of change and hope for the future. Within a decade, most of Europe would be conquered by Nazi Germany. By 1945 two out of every three of these Jews were silenced forever. The sights and sounds of this video are those of the Jews of Europe before the Holocaust. In their own words, through their diaries, letters and notebooks, and through their family films.
Sheryl Silver-Ochayon is a staff member at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
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.