Shoah Is the statute of limitations approaching ?



Social barometer sheets (see worksheet below)
Article on DPs (see related articles in last file)

A. Introduction - 'social barometer' (20 minutes)
To prepare the students for the main activity, the trial, by first exploring their own attitudes about the relevance of Holocaust issues today.

  • The facilitator explains that for the next couple of hours (or sessions, if this activity is spread out over a few days) the class will be looking at issues regarding the relevance of the Holocaust today, particularly asking the question, "Is it time for countries to put the Holocaust behind them or is there still work to do?"
  • The facilitator hands out a 'social barometer' sheet (see below). Discuss why students have differing opinions (or similar) on each issue.

B. Options of Holocaust survivors

To help the students understand the fate of the survivors after W.W.II.

  • The facilitator hands out excerpts from the "Displaced Persons" article in Encyclopedia Judaica. The students may read the article to themselves or take turns reading out loud.
  • Questions
    • What were the options for the Jewish DPs after the War? hints: (return to their home country, wait in the DP camps to go to Palestine, try to get to Palestine on one's own)
    • Why did the number of Jewish DPs swell between the end of the War and 1947?
      hints: (Jews could not find their place in their old homeland, the Kielce pogrom)
    • How was the Jewish DP problem solved? hints: (after creation of Israel, most made Aliya)
    • What can be concluded about the story of the Jewish DPs?
      hints: (even those who wanted to stay and rebuild their communities could not; seeing no future in Europe, the DPs left)

C. Examining Ezer Weizman's speech to the Bundestag (25 minutes)

  • The facilitator hands out the reading. Either the class should read the entire speech for homework, or take turns in class reading out loud selected paragraphs: 1-3, 5, 6, 7 (Never before... familiar and friendly faces here), 8, 9, 10 (I am a wandering Jew... worrying and frightening), 13, 19-21, 23, 28). The numbering system is at the end of this file!
  • Questions
    • What did you understand from reading the text?
      hints: (clarify historical references they may be unfamiliar with, such as 'murderous events' at Cave of Makhpela = Baruch Goldstein, the Pillar of Fire, and famous figures mentioned in the speech)
    • How is the speech built? Can you divide it into sections? Give each one a title.
      hints: (putting himself into general Jewish history, putting Jews in the context of world history, contributions of Jews real or potential, the revival of Israel, the Jewish people taking their place among the nations)
    • What themes run throughout the speech?
      hints: (memory, hope, triumph, despair, revival, connection to the past)
    • What are the messages? How do you react?
      hints: (responsibility of the current German government to identify and quash any signs of racism or neo-Nazism, need to work together, our past dictates our needs for the future, such as making peace but keeping strong)


For section 3A(2). Social barometer worksheet.
Please fill out the following sheet by marking your reactions to each issue, ranging from 'Strongly disagree' on the far left to 'Strongly agree' on the far right.

1.  Holocaust survivors (or their descendants) have unlimited rights
    to sue governments for compensation due to property confiscated
    during World War II, regardless of how much time has passed.

Strongly disagre     Disagree             Agree       Strongly Agree

2.  The government of Germany should pay all damages to survivors even
    if they lived in another country prior to the War (e.g., Hungary,

Strongly disagree    Disagree             Agree       Strongly Agree

3.  Former Nazis who are sick and dying should not be put on trial if
    they are discovered.

Strongly disagree    Disagree             Agree       Strongly Agree

4.  If survivors feel that they were not properly compensated for
    damages suffered during the war, they should be able to have
    recourse to an International Court of Law.

Strongly disagree    Disagree             Agree       Strongly Agree



For Section C:
The sections of President Ezer Weizman's speech to the Bundestag and Bundesrat of Germany [presented in its entirety in the next file] are paragraphed as follows:

PARAGRAPH 1 - "Esteemed..."
PARAGRAPH 2 - "It was fate..."
PARAGRAPH 3 - "Memory shortens distances..."
PARAGRAPH 4 - "I was a slave..."
PARAGRAPH 5 - "I am a wandering Jew..."
PARAGRAPH 6 - "Just as memory forces..."
PARAGRAPH 7 - "Never before..."
PARAGRAPH 8 - "However, ladies and gentlemen..."
PARAGRAPH 9 - "I imagine that..."
PARAGRAPH 10 - "I am a wandering Jew. With the cloak..."
PARAGRAPH 11 - "Mr. President..."
PARAGRAPH 12 - "Time and again..."
PARAGRAPH 13 - "We yearn for this peace..."
PARAGRAPH 14 - "We deal with..."
PARAGRAPH 15 - "Many peace treaties..."
PARAGRAPH 16 - "Our most recent..."
PARAGRAPH 17 - "Do not take this lightly..."
PARAGRAPH 18 - "In 1977..."
PARAGRAPH 19 - "We respect our..."
PARAGRAPH 20 - "I speak not only..."
PARAGRAPH 21 - "We and our language..."
PARAGRAPH 22 - "We have developed..."
PARAGRAPH 23 - "These two cadavers..."
PARAGRAPH 24 - "We still pray..."
PARAGRAPH 25 - "Mr. President, Madam..."
PARAGRAPH 26 - "Today's Israel..."
PARAGRAPH 27 - "We have invested..."
PARAGRAPH 28 - "Ladies and gentlemen..."





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11 Apr 2007 / 23 Nisan 5767 0