Perpetrators, Collaborators, and Bystanders during the Holocaust

Echoes & Reflections: Teaching the Holocaust
Genocide & Holocaust
Felix Nussbaum the Refugee Artwork

Yad Vadshem

Grade Level:
Middle School,
High School
Common Core Standards:
Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
Genocide & Holocaust

This unit provides an opportunity for students to examine the complex issues of responsibility and guilt within the context of the Nazi occupation of Europe. Students will also learn about the war crimes trials following World War II and consider the responsibility of the free world to provide a safe haven for refugees attempting to escape Europe. This unit also provides students with an introduction to Holocaust denial as a contemporary form of antisemitism.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define collaborator and collaboration within the context of World War II and the Holocaust.
  • Describe the role of those who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
  • Explain the role of the railroad system in the implementation of the “Final Solution.”
  • Differentiate between the concepts of “guilt” and “responsibility” when discussing the actions or inactions of individuals or groups during the Holocaust.
  • Explain the purpose and outcomes of the Nuremberg Trials as well as other war crimes trials that took place after the war.
  • Analyze the role and responsibility of the individual perpetrator within the Nazi system by learning about people like Rudolf Hoess and Adolf Eichmann.
  • Summarize the goals and outcomes of the Evian Conference and Bermuda Conference.
  • Evaluate the culpability of the free world in what ultimately happened to the Jews of Europe.
  • Interpret a variety of primary sources including visual history testimony, artwork, and government documents.
  • Define Holocaust denial.
  • Identify the role of the individual to ensure a safe and free society.

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