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"Artzy" Art during World War II

Introduction Unit Objectives
Unit-At-A-Glance/Lesson Plans Artzybasheff Bibliography
Teacher Resources Supplemental Activities
World War II WebQuests Literary Terms and Vocabulary
Student Chatroom Student Portfolios
Home University of North Texas
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Exploring the Holocaust
An Internet WebQuest on Holocaust
by Mr. Stasiak


What do we know about the Holocaust? How many stories are there about it? What caused it? What happened? How could people perpetuate something like the Holocaust? What lessons can we learn from it? As you explore these sites and other resources in the instructional resource center/library try to reflect on some of these questions and seek some answers.

The Quest

Your task is to create a time capsule of the Holocaust that will provide people with an understanding of the implications of the Holocaust when it is opened 100 years from today. Your group should describe what information and materials they would include in the capsule as well as what message they would send to future generations regarding the Holocaust. You will need to document your research for contemporary evaluation of your finished project.

In addition, each individual group member must select one of two photographs and two personal accounts or testimonies and describe the impressions they project about the Holocaust.

The Process and Resources

In this Quest you will be working together in groups of four students in class. As a member of the group you will explore WebPages from people over the world who have something to share about the Holocaust. Because these are real WebPages we're tapping into, not things made just for schools, the reading level might challenge you. Feel free to use the online Webster dictionary or one in your classroom. You'll begin with everyone in your group getting some background before dividing into roles where people on your team become experts on one part of the topic.

Phase 1 - Background: Something for Everyone

Use the Internet information linked below and available library resources to answer the
basic questions of who? what? where? when? why? and how? Be creative in exploring the
information so that you can answer these questions as fully and insightfully as possible.

The sites that are listed are general sites that will provide you with the information that you will need to complete this assignment.

Yad Vashem

About the Holocaust

Cybrary of the Holocaust

Holocaust Museum

Personal Histories at Holocaust Museum

History of the Holocaust

Courage to remember - poster history of the Holocaust

Holocaust photos


Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority - Shoah Resource Center

The Holocaust Chronicles - This site includes over 800 pages and 1800 images with a keyword search.

Auschwitz - pictures and information

Special Collection - the Holocaust - a very thorough list of sites

The Holocaust

Holocaust Survivors

Image Galleries

Nazi Pictures

Photographs of the Holocaust - of the camps, camp prisoners, children,
displaced persons, Einsatzgruppen, ghettos, ghetto life, Nazi officials

Phase 2 - Looking Deeper from Different Perspectives

1. Individuals from your larger WebQuest team will explore one of the roles below.
2. Read through the files linked to your group. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.
3. Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so
you can quickly go back to it if you need to prove your point.
4. Be prepared to focus what you've learned into one main opinion that enables you to complete your task based on what you have learned from the links for your role.

The Background
Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to

The Beginnings:
1. What were some of the key background events that had an influence on the development of Nazi ideology?
2. What was the role of these key people in the development on the Nazi ideology?
Josef Goebbels Josef Mengeles Julius Streicher
Hermann Goering (Goring) Heinrich Himmler Alfred Rosenberg
Adolph Eichmann Rudolf Hess Martin Bormann
Amon Leopold Goeth Reinhard Heydrich Rudolf Hoss
3. What actions preceded the placement of Jews in the Camps?
4. What groups aside from the Jews were subjects of Nazi discrimination?
5. What do the images that you observed add to your understanding about this phase of the Holocaust?
6. What are pogroms and where were they used?
7. What was involved in Kristalnacht?
8. What was involved in the Final Solution?
9. What was life like in the ghettoes?
10. What was the significance of the Nuremberg Laws?
11. What happened at the Wannsee Conference?

1. Who were the rescuers and how did they pull it off?
2. Who were the hidden children and what was done to hide them?
3. Who are the forgotten victims?
4. Who were the liberators and what did they find?
5. Jewish and non-Jewish resistance
6. What groups were victims?
7. Who were the refugees?
8. What took place at Sobibor?

The Camps
1. Where were the Camps located? In what areas? In what countries?
2. What different types of camps existed?
3. How were prisoners dressed?
4. How were the camps organized?
5. How were the people in the camps treated?
6. What sorts of activities did the Nazis have the people involved in?
7. Visit one of the sites that includes a virtual tour and describe your observations. How did images/photos contribute to your understanding of Camps?
8. Camp system
9. What was forced labor and what was it used for?
10. Who were the Mobile killing units (Einsatzgruppen)and what were they designed to do?

1. Which groups suffered the greatest losses?
2. Which groups were punished at the Nuremberg trials?
3. What were the consequences for the people who were involved in running the camps?
4. How were the trials run?
5. What have been some long-term consequences?
6. How did images that you observed contribute to your understanding of the Holocaust?
7. What was the impact on survivors and their children?

Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching Consensus

You have all learned about different aspects of the Holocaust. Now group members need to come back to the larger WebQuest group with expertise gained by searching from their perspective. You must all now work together to complete the culminating activity as a group. Your WebQuest group should complete the activity with input from all group members.

Phase 4 - Real World Feedback

Now that you have concluded gathering all of the information together you need to pull it all together. Each person in your group should write a paragraph that gives good reasons supporting the group's inclusion of the information that you choose to include in your time capsule.


So what have you learned about the Holocaust? It is a broad, multi-faceted, complex issue. Now you all know a lot more. Nice work. You should be proud of yourselves! How can you use what you've learned to see beyond the black and white of a topic and into the grayer areas? What other parts of Holocaust could still be explored? Remember, learning never stops.


Remember that in addition, each individual group member must select one of two photographs and two personal accounts or testimonies and describe the impressions they project about the Holocaust.