Holocaust Education

We have many other opportunities for Holocaust Education in the classroom. Learn more by viewing the content below.

Eyewitness Testimony

Above, Dr. Walter Ziffer shares his story from the Holocaust with teachers in a professional development seminar, hosted by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust and the UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education.

The Center provides multiple resources for eyewitness testimony. These resources follow the model of "Facing History and Ourselves," which is a pedagogy based on eyewitness accounts and primary source documents to teach critical thinking. The Center provides programs and resources for students, educators, and community members, including speakers, exhibits, professional development, and classroom materials.

Survivor and Witness Videos

The Center is in the process of creating four videos on local witness and survivor stories.

Hilde Cohn Hoffman - Ms. Hoffman was interviewed in 1999 and shares the story of her best friend Lotte and how she escaped from Leipzig Germany and moved to Asheville.

Testimony for the Classroom

In 1999, The Center for Diversity Education began documenting the stories of local families who witnessed, escaped, and survived the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust. That research became the basis of our exhibit Choosing to Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains, which is available for K-12 schools to rent at no cost. Click here to view summaries and transcripts of eyewitness testimony in UNC Asheville Special Collections.

Depending on health, distance, and scheduling, Rubin Feldstein and Walter Ziffer are available to speak to classrooms in person. Email Deborah Miles at dmiles@ret.unca.edu for contact information.

Additional Recommended Resources

Facing History and Ourselves - Teaches critical thinking through multiple historical events using primary source documents and eye witness accounts.

Kennesaw State University - Free Traveling Exhibits as well as a host of other resources

NC Council on the Holocaust - Professional Development and Traveling Exhibits

Teaching Tolerance - Free magazine and classroom resources for educators

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Museum with both traveling and on site exhibits as well as innumerable resources and  professional development for educators.

Yad Vashem - Shoah Museum in Jerusalem, Israel

Terms Defined

*Witnesses - This term is sometimes used to name those that left Europe before being sent to a Slave Labor or Death Camp.

*Survivor - This term is used to name those that experienced either Slave Labor or Death Camps. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum defines survivors and victims as anyone who was displaced,imprisoned, or murdered.

*Shoah - A Hebrew word meaning  “destruction” has been in use since the Middle Ages and became the standard  term for the murder of European Jewry as early as the early 1940s. It is the word most often used in Israel as in on the Yom Ha Shoah Day of Remembrance.

Lending Library

Educators may borrow the following books for a month-long period.

Individual Books

Alex Grobman, "Those Who Dared: Rescuers and Rescued"

Gordan A Craig, "The Germans"

Gutman, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (complete set)

Jill Dubin, "Little Hebrew Alpabet Coloring Book"

Joel Lurie Grishaver, "Building Jewish Life: Shabbat"

Linda Jacobs Altman, "Genocide: The Systematic Killing of a People"

Marga Silbermann Randall, "How Beautiful We Once Were"

Susan D. Bachrach, "Tell Them We Remember"

The Washington Post, "Holocaust: The Obligation To Remember"

Verlag Willmuth Arenhovel, "Topography of Terror"

Class Book Sets

Jane Yolan, "The Devil’s Arithmetic"

Art Spiegelman, "Maus I: My Father Bleeds History" and "Maus II: And Here My Trouble Began"

Rena Kornreich Gelissen with Heather Dune Macadam, "Rena’s Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz"

Eva Schloss, "Eva’s Story"

Choosing to Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains

In 1999, volunteers with the Center interviewed Witnesses*, Survivors*, and children of both to trace the impact of the Shoah on Western North Carolina. Choosing to Remember uses the methodology for Facing History and Ourselves, which relies on primary source documents and eye witness accounts to engage students in a critical analysis of history. While the exhibit selects text from all the interviews to tell a chronological story, a synopsis of the larger body of the interviews are a part of the UNC Asheville Special Collections. These materials are available in several formats for use in the classroom.

Traveling Exhibit 

"Choosing To Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains" is viewable as a PDF, and is also available as a traveling exhibit (one of twelve). Educators may reserve Choosing to Remember for a FREE month-long loan. Community organizations may also reserve any of the Center's twelve traveling exhibits for a modest fee.  To learn more about traveling exhibits visit the Exhibits page.

Identity Cards

Small "memory cards" are available for each student with all but one connecting to the stories on the board. Students may keep the cards to later share with their families.


Teachers may assign further research from stories in the traveling exhibit and/or the identity cards. Click here for information about summaries and transcripts of eyewitness testimony in UNC Asheville Special Collections.

Exhibits from Kennesaw State University Holocaust Museum

Each spring the Center hosts an exhibit from the Kennesaw State University Holocaust Museum.

2016 - The Tragedy of War: Japanese Internment 
February 29 - March 25, weekdays 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Karpen Hall Lobby of UNC Asheville

2015 - In Her Father's Eyes: A Slovak Childhood in the Shadow of the Holocaust

2014 - Remembering Ravensbruk: Women and the Holocaust

2013 - Parallel Journeys: WWII and the Holocaust through the Eyes of Teens

2012 - The Heroic Present: The Gypsy Photographs of Jan Yoors

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945/ 2017

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 is a traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through reproductions of historic photographs and documents, this exhibition explores the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazi regime’s persecution of homosexuals, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.

The Center for Diversity Education hosted Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals from February 12-April 7, 2017 in UNC Asheville's Ramsey Library.  These links are available for continued educational purposes.

Learn more about the exhibit and professional development opportunities for educators in the links below:

View a PDF of the Exhibit 

View a teacher's Guide to the Exhibit

Victim Identity Cards:

Willem Arondeus

Gad Beck

Karl Gorath

Friedrich-Paul von Groszheim

Robert T. Odeman

Harry Pauly

Online Resources About the Holocaust:

READING: Persecution of Homosexuals in the Third Reich

READING: Background and Timeline of Events

READING: Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals

READING: "Do You Remember, When" (A book shared between teenagers Manfred Lewin and Gad Beck)

READING: Dr. Magnus Herschfeld, founder of the Institute for Sexual Research in Berlin

READING: Article 6 - Indecency Between Men

READING: Paragraph 175

READING: Heinrich Himmler on the "Question of Homosexuality"

READING: A Gay Man Recalls 1933

AUDIO: Isolating Gays

LESSON: Paragraph 175

LESSON: What Can We Do To Prevent Genocide?

Online Resources about LGBT+ Inclusion:

LESSON: Understanding Homophobia/Heterosexism and How to Be an Ally

LESSON: Transgender Identity and Issues

LESSON: Gender Variance

VIDEO: Preventing LGBT Bullying

DVD: "It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School"

READING: U.S. Transgender Survey 2015 Executive Summary

READING: North Carolina's State Equality Scorecard (from Human Rights Campaign)

AUDIO: NPR's Fresh Air Podcast Interviews Subjects of HBO's "The Trans List"

READING: Best Practices for Creating an LGBT-Inclusive School Climate

Suggested Further Readings:

The Men with the Pink Triangle by Heinz Heger (translated by David Fernbach). 1980. Alyson Publications.

Normal Life by Dean Spade. 2011. New York: South End Press.

Transgender History by Susan Stryker. 2008. Avalon Publishing Group.

Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality by Anne Fausto-Sterling. 2008. Revised. Basic Books.

Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World (The Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture). 2012. Routledge.

Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish History. Noach Dzmura (Editor). 2010. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Documentary: The Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria. 2005. FrameLine.


Questions about the resources or exhibit? Contact Deborah Miles at dmiles@unca.edu.