Religious Education

The questions raised by the Holocaust go to the core of the issues that students cover in RE. The resources on this site can help students question and debate the meaning of religious belief, religious identity, the nature of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. The filmed testimony of Holocaust survivors and the features written by guests in the Reflections section of this website provide different perspectives on some of these issues and fuel for students' own debates.

The table below maps the content of this site against key enquiry questions for the secondary RE curriculum.  


Enquiry question Suggested resources
What are Jewish beliefs and traditions? Ibi (chapter 1) explains what it means to keep a kosher house. Eugene (chapter 1) describes his non-orthodox upbringing. Liesel (chapter 8) and Trude (chapter 7) explain why they don't practice the Jewish beliefs. Martin (chapters 6 and 7) describes life with his Hasidic relatives on a stetl in Poland. Rudi (chapter 7) explains the importance of faith in his life.
Why did people dislike the Jews? Margaret (chapter 2) explains how the Lithuanian people thought Jews were working with the Communists. Val (chapter 1) explains how the Nazis persecuted all the groups that opposed them.
Was anti-Semitism motivated by religion? Val (chapter 1) describes Hitler's racial anti-Semitism. Eugene (chapter 9) explains the range of different people persecuted by the Nazis.
What choices did people have to make during the persecution? Val (chapter 2) describes how his family decided whether to stay or go on the Nazi invasion of Lithuania. Heinz (chapter 2) explains his decision to defy the Nazis and stay at school, and (chapter 3) his brother's decision to leave Germany. Iby (chapter 2) describes how her mother got her out of Czechoslovakia. Liesel (chapter 1) describes why her mother moved to England, leaving her four-year-old daughter behind. Rudi (chapter 3) explains how his family made the decision to leave Berlin for Bradford. 
Why would God allow the Holocaust to happen? Eugene (chapter 9) describes the feeling in Auschwitz that God didn't see what was happening.
Did religion provide a comfort or support during the Holocaust? Val (chapter 4) explains how many religious people lost their faith in the ghetto. Eugene (chapter 9) describes how God didn't exist for him in Auschwitz.