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Students are Survivors Too: Bearing Witness to the Stories of Our Lives Through Holocaust Survivor Testimony

This unit is designed to be utilized in an eighth grade English class over a roughly two week period. It is a writing intensive unit focused around bearing witness. Based around the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, this unit is intended to provide students with an outlet for their own stories. The content presented has been evaluated for its age appropriateness, and selected purposefully. Obviously, each classroom teacher who chooses to use this unit in their classrooms is entrusted to modify any or all portions of this unit, as the material and discussions may not work with every class. This material is sensitive and should be treated as such. 

In this unit, written and oral testimonies will be utilized. This is not a history unit. The intention of this is not to teach facts and figures about the Holocaust or to name the perpetrators and their frightful ideals, but rather to introduce the difficult subject matter to students through survivor testimonies. This is about the stories, the struggles, and the ultimate burden of “moving on” these survivors faced in the aftermath of the Holocaust. By bearing witness to the testimonies of the survivors, it is my hope that discussion will ensue and students will begin to bear witness to their own stories.

Eilis Hood
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