What are the larger lessons we hope students can understand from learning about the Holocaust?
Sam Waldron, a teacher from Bayside Christian College in Victoria’s south-east, seeks to provide an answer for his students. Combining his passion for Holocaust education with the innate knowledge of his students and the schools’ broader context, Sam’s students are inspired to think about their own actions and place in the world and building their hope for a future free of prejudice and discrimination.
Sam’s students have shown in-depth understanding of the complex themes of the Holocaust, evidenced in a recent art project they undertook to reflect on the experiences of survivors.
The following four pieces were created by students at Bayside Christian College for their final assessment where they presented their pieces in an exhibition gallery.
‘This is a Person’ by Amaris White
The main reason Nazi Germans were able to persecute the Jewish population so violently was due to their dehumanisation of victims. It is essential when remembering those who suffered in The Holocaust, we honour them through respecting their names and identifying them as humans and individuals. Real people who had a past, who had personalities, who had those who loved them and whom they loved.
In this project, I have made a collage showcasing segments of Auschwitz victims. On each piece of the model, you will see the names of individuals. This is my attempt to personalise the recurring impact the Holocaust has on us.
Below the model you will Hebrew which translates to “This is a Person”. I believe in order to commemorate Holocaust fatalities to need to acknowledge their entire human suffering.
The Holocaust was a tragedy that isolated people and fractured people. It was a tragedy that deserves to be remembered so it may never occur again.
“The more I reflect on the undertakings and occurrences of the Holocaust, the more I am reminded of the awful pain that it brings, and the more I am personally determined to make sure that I never am an aid to it in the future,” — Amaris White.
‘Memories’ by Alycia Hermawan
Learning about the Holocaust has certainly opened new kinds of emotions and perceptions in my life. It was unbelievable to think and understand that such horrible events happened in the past and affected millions of innocent people. It happened not so long ago but many people, particularly students, are reluctant to learn and study about the Holocaust due to the unimaginable ideas and deeds that were undoubtedly committed by human hands in the past.
This historical event has greatly impacted society today and will continue to have an impact on future generations.
It has impacted my knowledge of different concepts, such as dehumanisation, genocide, and my understanding of life and death.
“This historical event has greatly impacted society today and will continue to have an impact on future generations. It has impacted my knowledge of different concepts, such as dehumanization, genocide, and my understanding of life and death,” — Alycia Hermawan.
‘The Liberation of Auschwitz’ by Samantha Nassar
I created two paintings that represent before the liberation of Auschwitz camp and after the liberation. The first image is colourless and stormy. It represents the troubles and sorrows the Jewish people had experienced. The painting has been stripped of its colour just as the Jewish people had been stripped of their identity. The wall of vines and leaves shows the tangles and struggles of what the camp was like.
The second picture represents what happened when they were being freed, flying away. This is the red army symbol on the door of the cage as they were the ones to free the Jewish people from Auschwitz. The background is colourful, representing life being returned to Jewish people and the sun setting represents a new day.
‘The Resistance’ by Bailey Stubbs
I chose to create this drawing because it symbolises the resistance and courage of the Jewish people. The hand is making a fist because in the ghettos and camps this was the sign of ‘The Resistance’.
I also chose to make the whole piece in only black and white because it was not a colourful time in the lives of Jewish people and using colour would have been inappropriate.
If you look closely, each strand of the barbed wire includes the Nazi swastika.
I included this to show that it wasn’t just ordinary barbed wire the hand is trapped in but the barbed wire the Nazis purposefully placed around the Jewish people and the strain, containment and pain Jewish people had to experience at the hands of the Nazis.
Are you a teacher facilitating Holocaust education? Download our free Holocaust education resources to assist in your lesson planning.