The students will examine the experiences of Jewish displaced persons in the years immediately following World War II. They will explore photographs and primary source documents related to the DP camps in Europe, building a foundation to be used in an upcoming lesson on the creation of the state of Israel (1948).
This lesson will provide an important bridge between two lessons I already use. The first is my lesson on the Holocaust and the second is a lesson on the creation of the state of Israel, viewed from both the Israeli and Arab perspectives (and created at a previous Truman Library teacher conference). This lesson will create an important bridge between these two lessons and provide important context for understanding the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. In addition, this lesson will enhance the students’ understanding of the post-World War II period (both in Europe and in the Middle East), which in turn will help them to understand the historical context of current discussions related to the Middle East and Holocaust education.
- Explore primary source documents and photographs from the displaced persons (DP) camps in the period 1945-1950.
- Analyze the experiences of persons who had survived the Holocaust and assess their needs and wants in the immediate post-war period.
- Contextualize those experiences to understand the perspectives surrounding the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
- Kansas State History and Government Standards – High School Modern World History; Topics: The World at War (1910-1950) and The Cold War and Beyond (1945-present)
- Common Core Standards - CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
- Common Core Standards - CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.9: Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
- Common Core Standards - CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.6: Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts
- Glencoe World History, Chapter 26, Section 3 “The New Order and the Holocaust,” and Chapter 30, Section 2 “Conflict in the Middle East”
- U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Postwar Refugee Crisis and the Establishment of the State of Israel,” article from the online Holocaust Encyclopedia, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005459
- PowerPoint – “Images of Life in the Displaced Persons Camps” (courtesy of Jessica Rockhold of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Overland Park, KS)
- As homework the night before this lesson, have the students read the Holocaust Encyclopedia article entitled “Postwar Refugee Crisis and the Establishment of the State of Israel.” They should also review chapter 26, section 2 and chapter 30, section 2 in their Glencoe World History textbooks.