“Teach your students to think, to trust themselves, to stand up – and not to blend into a crowd and be quiet. That gets you nowhere, accomplishes nothing. You have to take chances, you must make yourself do things that you believe need to be done. And teachers have more of a chance than anyone in the world to influence the younger generation.”
– Hedy Bohm, Holocaust survivor and educator
Hedy Bohm was born in Transylvania in 1928 and spent the first 16 years of her life living with her family and attending school like the other young people in her hometown. Things changed in 1944, as World War II brought Nazi forces to her region. Hedy’s family was Jewish, and they were taken by the Nazis to the Oradea ghetto and subsequently the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp.
Hedy survived a year of imprisonment and forced labor, and she is now a Holocaust educator for children and adults. She is passionate about sharing her story with the hope that when others hear what she experienced, they will be inspired to take action and ensure that it never happens again. To get to know more about Hedy and her experiences during the war, read this recap of her story shared in a separate session with Outschool learners.
When Hedy spoke with the educator community, she shared additional details intended for adults about her experiences being enslaved by the Nazis in forced labor camps, the murders of her family members, and what happened after she was liberated in 1945. To hear her story in her own words, view the full recording of her webinar below. In this presentation, she also gives her perspective on why and how we need to teach young people about difficult moments in history – including why she thinks Outschool educators have a unique power to inspire a better future for us all.
For even more detailed insights into teaching about difficult topics like the Holocaust on Outschool, check out this webinar hosted by guest educator Michael Soberman.
More resources for teaching about the Holocaust
Lesson Plans and Curriculum:
- U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum – Guidelines for Teaching About the Holocaust
- Anti-Defamation League – Guidelines for Teaching About the Holocaust
- Anti-Defamation League – Challenging Anti-Semitism: Myths & Facts
- Facing History & Ourselves – Educator Resources
- Echoes & Reflections – Teaching the Holocaust
- Centropa – Preserving Jewish History Teaching Materials
- Jewish Federation – Class Adopt-a-Survivor
- U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum – Holocaust Learning Site for Students
- Classrooms Without Borders – Holocaust Lesson Plans
Books About the Holocaust:
Ages 3-6 – Terrible Things by Eve Bunting
Ages 7-9 – The Cat with the Yellow Star by Susan Rubin
Ages 10-12 – Hana’s Suitcase: The Quest to Solve a Holocaust Mystery by Karen Levine
Ages 13+ – The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, 3-volume set
More book recommendations in English & Spanish from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum