Lesson Plan

The Ghettos in Nazi Europe

Echoes & Reflections: Teaching the Holocaust

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

In this unit, students learn about the ghettos established throughout Nazi Europe and understand that the ghettos were one phase in the continuum of Nazi racial policies that sought to solve the so-called “Jewish problem.” Students investigate the conditions in ghettos and how those conditions severely limited Jewish life and led to immense suffering. Using primary source material, students discover that despite severe overcrowding, starvation, disease, and grief, Jews still did their utmost to conduct their lives and retain their human dignity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the aims of the Nazis in establishing ghettos.
  • Identify tactics used by the Nazis to control, isolate, and weaken Jewish people in the ghettos.
  • Describe what life was like for Jews imprisoned in ghettos.
  • Identify ways that Jews forced to live in ghettos sought to maintain their dignity and previous ways of life.
  • Interpret primary source documents—including clips of visual history testimony—that represent the experiences and responses of those forced to live in ghettos, with particular emphasis on the Lodz ghetto.

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