“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” Elie Wiesel

Holocaust curriculum designed by survivor goes live

The curriculum is the first designed and developed by a living Holocaust survivor, and includes six lesson plans designed by a living Holocaust survivor.


The ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust founded by Ben Lesser – a Holocaust survivor – has created a free-to-access educational curriculum on the history of the Holocaust, the organization announced on Tuesday.The curriculum is the first designed and developed by a living Holocaust survivor, and includes six lesson plans accompanied by “videos, historical photography, personal anecdotes, a historical interactive timeline and various student activities and dialogue prompts that will provide a lasting impact on participants and ensure ease of use for teachers.”

The ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum distinguishes itself from the pack of other Holocaust curriculums. First, the lessons are taught from the perspective of Holocaust survivors. Second, the curriculum was specifically designed as a tool for educators to share the lessons with their pupils, and third ZACHOR has partnered with the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education to add additional digital testimony to the curriculum.”Ben’s story of resilience and hope, overcoming the horrors of multiple Nazi camps, has already impacted and moved thousands of young people,” said Finci-Viterbi Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation Stephen D. Smith. “Now, even more people can learn from Ben’s voice and from his life’s work about how to better use their own voices, which is also at the heart of our work in IWitness.”

Lesser, 91, has dedicated much of his life to ensuring this promise is kept, speaking tirelessly to schoolchildren and other audiences about his life story, and inking his memories in his recent book Living a Life That Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream.“My hope is that ZHC serves as a one-stop shop for educators, who, in turn, can provide memorable learning and engagement opportunities to students, allowing them to question who they are as individuals, who they can become and how they can live meaningful lives,” said Founder of ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation and the ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum Lesser. “At 91-years-old, I created ZHC so we always remember the Holocaust even when there aren’t survivors physically present to share their stories.”The curriculum is available for use via their website.


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