Having students learn the history of the Holocaust means that they can learn not only of wartime atrocity, but of the world conditions that led up to the horror.
At Lone Jack High School, students watched films of Nazi Germany, and Hitler shouting at a saluting crowd. “History of the Holocaust” was started by librarian Angie Gottesburen, as an elective. Her interest in the Holocaust began when she was young after reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel.
She teaches students about the Holocaust as a history class, focusing on world events that led up to the atrocities. Students learn about German instability after World War I, compounded by the Great Depression and ultimately blaming Jews for the downfall of Germany.
“So many people didn’t stand up,” Gottesburen said. “It became dangerous (to confront the Nazis) later on, but if they had stood up to the Nazis at the beginning, it might not have progressed to the atrocities that occurred.”
It is a difficult class for Gottesburen to teach, as there is an emotional toll. However she believes that the subject is vital for students to learn.