North Carolina Council on the Holocaust was created so that we should not forget this terrible time in history. The Council has twenty-four members, six of whom are Holocaust survivors or children of survivors.
The Council has created a teachers’ guide that is given out at the teacher training workshops each year. Written by Linda Scher, the guide includes ten lessons that are appropriate for middle and high schools students. North Carolina Holocaust survivors have provided background for the lessons on the topics of anti-semitism, the rise of Hitler, prewar Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, resisters, bystanders, perpetrators, and rescuers, and finally, remembering and forgetting. The guide also includes a timeline, glossary, and bibliography of print materials and websites.
The Council has traveling exhibits that will come to middle and high schools across the state. This important outreach project is brought to the schools free-of-charge and the exhibits make a profound impact on the students who see them. In addition, high school and college classes can have actors visit them to present Let Your Children Tell, a one hour play about “the actual experiences of three young people in Europe during the Holocaust — Jewish and gypsy (Roma) — who struggle to survive physically and emotionally under Nazi tyranny.”
Each year the Holocaust is remembered with a national week of commemoration. “The North Carolina Holocaust Commemoration features a guest speaker, presentations by public officials and local clergy, a candle-lighting ceremony, and Holocaust-related music performances. Education programs preceding the commemoration include a panel discussions, Holocaust-related videos, and a student art exhibition.” Over the years featured speakers have included authors, video and documentary producers, professors, and Holocaust survivors.
Educators will be interested in the one-day workshops that are held throughout the year. Attendees will hear a recount of the personal experiences of a Holocaust survivor, receive an updated resource guide, and learn about one of four topics: Propaganda, Anti-Semitism, Resistance, or the History of the Holocaust. Workshops are free to educators and substitute pay is provided.
Educators will also be interested in the educational materials that may be borrowed from regional libraries across the state. The materials include videos, posters, classroom book sets, and resource books. The Council also has publications and videos which may be borrowed from the North Carolina Museum of History. All public secondary school libraries should have Witnesses to the Horror: North Carolinians Remember the Holocaust, by Cecile Holmes White. It has “first-person accounts of eleven survivors, three children of survivors, and three servicemen; with photographs, an historical overview, and appendices.”