Who is Responsible When Genocide Occurs?
Be very clear about the background and context of each genocide discussed. Be wary of presenting this lesson after a Holocaust curriculum without a clear, shared rationale; students may make simplistic comparisons and draw shaky conclusions between the two events. These lessons are designed to share historical knowledge but also to raise specific questions about participation, collaboration, and indifference in general but specifically in regard to the discussed genocide.
GOALS FOR STUDENT UNDERSTANDING
- Students will learn about the roles played by different individuals during one of three genocides.
- Students will think about and refine their definitions of perpetrator, collaborator, rescuer, and bystander.
- Students will contemplate the concepts of personal and civic responsibility.
WHAT STUDENTS WILL DO TO BUILD THEIR UNDERSTANDING
Students will reflect on the roles of a range of individuals during and before a particular case of genocide.
Students will choose a level of responsibility for each case.
Students will explain and defend their choices.