History

The videos and survivor stories on this site can support History teaching by providing a personal perspective on some of the big questions that students will need to explore. The survivors offer first-person testimony, describing their own specific experience in the context of broader events.

The table below maps the content on this site against key questions for the History curriculum.  Explore the links to the left for teaching ideas, including suggestions for starters and plenaries and specific lesson plans using the resources on this site.

Transcripts of each survivor's films are available for download from their story pages to aid with lesson planning.

 Enquiry Question Suggested Resources
What was life like for European Jews before the war? All the survivors talk about their life before the war in Chapter 1 of their  testimonies. In particular Margaret describes life in cosmopolitan Lithuania, Heinz describes growing up in Nuremberg and Eugene describes being a football mad boy in Hungary. Trude describes the impact of the Wall Street Crash. Martin (chapters 6 and 7) describes life with his Hasidic relatives in a Jewish stetl in Poland. 
Why were the Nazis anti-Semitic? Val gives a detailed description of Nazi racial anti-Semitism in Chapter 1 of his testimony. Margaret (chapter 2) explains the Lithuanian myth that the Jews were Communist collaborators. Heinz explains how the Nazis justified Kristallnacht and the escalating persecution in Germany.
What were the stages of persecution? Heinz talks about escalating anti-Semitism in chapters 2 & 4 and Kristallnacht in chapter 3. Edith (chapter 2) describes escalating anti-Semitism in Germany. Rudi (chapters 2 and 3) describes his experiences in Berlin.  Iby (chapter 1) describes her resentment against the yellow star. Val (chapter 3) describes escalating persecution in Lithuania.
How did the Nazis try to eliminate the Jews? Val (4) describes mass shootings in the Kaunas ghetto. Arek (chapter 3) describes the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto.   Eugene (3 - 7), Iby (4 - 6), Ibi (2 - 6), Arek (4 - 6)  and Val (5 and 6) describe concentration camps and slave labour camps.
Why didn't the Jews fight back? Iby describes working for the Hungarian Resistance (chapter 2) and acts of sabotage in slave labour camps (chapter 5). Margaret (2) describes chaos in Lithuania. Val (3 and 4) describes hunger, demoralisation and terror.
Did anybody try to help the Jews? Margaret talks about her rescuers in chapters 3 and 7 of her story. Edith (chapter 3) and Martin (chapters 8 and 9) describe escaping on the Kindertransport.  Liesel describes the Norwegian family who took her in. Trude describes the 'kindness of strangers' she encountered in England in chapter 4 of her story. 
What happened to the Jews after the war? Heinz describes escaping to England (film 4), internment (6 - 7) and becoming a British citizen (6). Trude (films 3 - 5) describes life as a refugee and evacuee.  Margaret (chapter 6) explains how she and her husband set up a major textile company in England after the war. Iby (7), Val (6), Ibi (7) and Eugene (8) explain why they migrated to England. Liesel (5 - 6) describes her English foster family.
Is it possible to stop genocides from happening? All the survivors offer their own personal perspectives on the Holocaust, and their feelings on whether or not genocies can be prevented, in the final chapter of their films.