Lessons of the Holocaust: 
A Personal Reflection

And I Said Nothing
 
In Germany
They first came for the communists
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade-unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me––
and by that time
no one was left to speak up.

-- Pastor Martin Niemoller, 1945

 

TASK:  The year is 1945. You are 15 years old and a German citizen.  You have been witness to one of the greatest atrocities in human history.

 

 In your journal, write a one page reflection on the holocaust using the above quote as a guide as well as the guiding questions listed below. 
  
 Guiding Questions

  • Who is to blame for the Holocaust? 
  • Could the Holocaust have been stopped? 
  • How do the "Stages of Isolation" show the gradual persecution leading to the annihilation of the Jews?
  • What did you do in reaction to the stages of isolation as you lived in Germany during the Third Reich?   
  • How does the passage "And I Said Nothing" portray the actions of the people in Germany during Third Reich?  What is the danger in saying or doing "nothing"? 
  • What lessons must be learned from the Holocaust?
  • How do we, as responsible and aware human beings, ensure that an event such as the Holocaust or any type of racial genocide never occurs again?

Instructions:

 

  1. The essay should be typed, double spaced, using 12 point font.
  2. Be creative, try to put yourself in the time period described.
  3. Think critically

 

RUBRIC:  Personal Reflection of the Lessons of the Holocaust

 

 

Criteria

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Evidence of historical argument
(T/I and A)

- little evidence of analysis (e.g., cause-effect relationships) displayed

- some evidence of analysis of situation shown with a mix of personal and historical detail

- evidence of analysis shown and the reader/listener can distinguish between historical and personal details presented

- arguments presented in presentation balance personal and historical details and analysis clearly to the reader/listener

Understanding of historical context
(K/U)

- references are contemporary; role not clearly set in past

- some evidence that role is in an historical context

- role clearly viewed as being part of a particular time and place with considerable knowledge of topic

- role consistently viewed as being part of a particular time and place using rich detail to describe historical context

Assumption of role
(C and A)

- limited attempt to be in role

- attempt to be in role clearly seen, though the role-taking may not be consistent

- role-taking is consistent

- role-taking is consistent and personal so that the reader/listener feel “transported back in time”

Organization of presentation/
communication
(C)

- limited effort to organize so that communication lacks coherence

- some organization shown with conventions of speech and writing are observed at least some of the time

- organization shown with conventions of speech and writing are observed most of the time

- organization is clear and conventions of oral and written communication consistently observed

Persuasiveness
(C and A)

- little sense of audience shown, little impact

- some sense of audience shown with some impact

- product has impact on audience

- product engages audience and is believable

Note: A student whose achievement is below level 1 (50%) has not met the expectations for this assignment or activity.