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The Anti-Defamation League, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, and Yad Vashem present: Echoes and Reflections — a multimedia curriculum on the Holocaust

28 July 2005

Echoes and Reflections—a multimedia curriculum on the Holocaust (www.echoesandreflections.org) is the result of an unprecedented partnership, combining the national outreach network of the Anti-Defamation League, the unmatched visual history resources of the Shoah Foundation, and the historical expertise of Yad Vashem. The pedagogical experience of the three organizations produced the most comprehensive curriculum on the Holocaust available to date.

Today, at the Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles, leaders from the three organizations joined to celebrate the launch of this comprehensive new educational resource for American high school students.

Everyday, on high school campuses throughout the U.S., students confront issues of prejudice and bigotry. Echoes and Reflections inspires students to confront the racism and discrimination they face in their own lives. Through the study of the Holocaust, the curriculum helps students connect history with contemporary issues and develop skills to become active members of an informed citizenry, free of racial hatred.

From Steven Spielberg

In a videotaped message played at the event, Steven Spielberg, Shoah Foundation founding chairman, said, “It has always been my dream that the Shoah Foundation’s unique archive of testimonies would transform the way history is taught and learned. Today, that dream is becoming a reality. The partnership we celebrate here today ensures that future generations can learn what survivors and other eyewitnesses to the Holocaust can teach: that our very humanity depends on the practice of tolerance and mutual respect.”

From the partnering organizations

"As the years take us further away from the Holocaust and witnesses pass away, it is incumbent upon us to teach not only the history of that terrible time, but to learn its lessons so that it will never again happen to any people anywhere," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and a Holocaust survivor. "That is the goal of Echoes and Reflections, an innovative and extraordinary teaching tool, of which ADL is proud to be a partner with Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and Yad Vashem."

According to Douglas Greenberg, Shoah Foundation President and CEO, “Echoes and Reflections, with its integration of visual history testimony from the Shoah Foundation archive, provides teachers with a unique and valuable tool: the real life stories of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. These first-person narratives of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses have an important educational value, not only because they support the study of the Holocaust, but also because they often broach questions of fairness, justice, labeling, or scapegoating—issues that adolescents confront in their daily lives. Visual history provides the immediacy and personalization that can make history, and the lessons that students can learn from that history, truly come alive.”

Avner Shalev, Yad Vashem Chairman, explained, "Clearly, this partnership signifies the imperative to remember and to educate about the Holocaust. Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies was able to provide material for this project by drawing upon its own vast pedagogical resources, as well as on other Yad Vashem resources such as the archives, library, art collection, and on-site historians. It is hoped that every pupil who will study Echoes and Reflections will remember this chapter of history and connect with the authentic voices of the witnesses featured in it. By learning about this unprecedented event in western civilization, we hope that students and teachers will infuse it with meaning by upholding human rights, freedom, and the sanctity of life."

Echoes and Reflections is made possible through the generosity of Mr. Yossie Hollander, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who stated, “I am doing it as an investment in the future of all children. Only by learning, facing, and understanding the past, we can hope for a better future. The new multimedia curriculum assures that an important chapter in human history will be taught and remembered, because the next generation of children will not be able to learn and hear about the Holocaust first-hand. The moral, social, political, and human questions raised by the Holocaust will remain with our children forever.”

Ten multi-part lessons

Ten comprehensive lessons, illustrated with maps, photographs, timelines, glossary, and primary source material, with companion DVD or VHS:

  • Studying the Holocaust
  • Antisemitism
  • Nazi Germany
  • The Ghettos
  • The “Final Solution”
  • Jewish Resistance
  • Rescuers and Non-Jewish Resistance
  • Survivors and Liberators
  • Perpetrators, Collaborators, and Bystanders
  • The Children

Curriculum Integration

The curriculum is designed for high school classes, but can easily be adapted to accommodate other grade levels. The lessons support study in the areas of United States and World History, English, Holocaust Studies, Fine Arts, and Character Education units. All material in Echoes and Reflections meets or reinforces Social Studies and English/Language Arts and Media Literacy and Viewing national standards.

Supporting Educational Website

To complement the curriculum, a link from www.echoesandreflections.org will take students to a specific URL where they will find additional material, photos, documents, and more. This added feature will allow them to delve as deeply as they would like into the issue, and to explore other aspects of the Holocaust.