This activity will help students learn to recognize and respond to Holocaust denial and hate speech. Students will divide into groups and research one interviewee in the Museum’s Voices on Antisemitism series. While the rest of the class serves as journalists and reporters at a press conference, each group will present what they have learned about their individual and the work that he or she has carried out. The journalists and reporters will then ask questions.
Following an international meeting of Holocaust deniers in Tehran in 2006, Iranian exile Ladan Boroumand published a statement deploring the fact that denial of the Holocaust has become a propaganda tool for Iran's leaders today. Learn more
When Holocaust denier David Irving sued Deborah Lipstadt for libel in a British court, she experienced what she called "the world of difference between reading about antisemitism and hearing it up close and personal." Learn more
In his book Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, Frank Meeink describes with brutal honesty his descent into bigotry and violence as a teenage neo-Nazi. Through some surprising personal encounters, Meeink came to reject his beliefs and become an advocate for tolerance and diversity. Learn more
Errol Morris makes documentaries that investigate the past, focusing on small details and questioning why people do what they do. In his film Mr. Death, Morris looks closely at Fred Leuchter, an engineer who became an expert witness to Holocaust deniers. Learn more
As Germany's Justice Minister, Brigitte Zypries is responsible for upholding justice, rights, and democracy in her country. Zypries explains why her government passed a law making Holocaust denial a criminal offense and why that law is important. Learn more
- Divide students into groups.
- Assign a podcast episode to each group.
- Have each group research the person assigned to them, paying close attention to what he or she is doing to combat Holocaust denial or hate speech.
- Students should consider who the individual is, where he or she was born, where the person lives now, what his or her motivation is in fighting Holocaust denial or hate speech and what methods this person uses to carry out his or her work.
- Based on their research, students will describe ways in which they can recognize and respond to Holocaust denial.
- Students should also consider additional ways to recognize and respond to Holocaust denial and hate speech.
- After completing their research, students should write a 3–5 minute speech in which they present what they have learned about the person assigned to them. Students should also present on how they will recognize and respond to Holocaust denial and hate speech.
- While each group presents, the other students will be developing questions to ask in their roles as journalists and reporters.
- After each presentation, the other “journalists and reporters” will have an opportunity to ask questions. The group presenting should use the resources they have to best answer each question.
Recommended Research Resources
Holocaust Encyclopedia articles:
- Evidence from the Holocaust
- Combating Holocaust Denial: Evidence of the Holocaust presented at Nuremberg
- Combating Holocaust Denial: Origins of Holocaust Denial
- Holocaust Deniers and Public Misinformation
- Incitement to Genocide in International Law