History-Music Collaboration: The Holocaust
The Holocaust is an extremely traumatic period in history. It is a time when individual stories can become dwarfed by the magnitude of the devastation of the time period. Throughout this unit it is our goal to bring to life to the individual stories of the Holocaust. Students will learn why and how Adolf Hitler came to power and manipulate others in order to carry out his Final Solution. Through different year-long mediums, field trips, and speakers, students will be asked to think critically about this time period and the varying ways individuals were affected, how individuals coped when faced with adversity, as well as how children their age experienced life during the Holocaust. In the fall students will go to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and on December 3, 2015 to Severance Hall to see the Violins of Hope exhibit and hear pieces from the exhibit come to life courtesy of the Cleveland Orchestra. Prior to both field trips, students will use materials provided by Facing History and Ourselves and the Cleveland Orchestra in order to understand the significance of the violins they view, as well as the musical pieces and composers who wrote them, in order to make their experiences more meaningful. In the spring, students will read a poignant book, The Children of Willesden Lane, about a young girl named Lisa Jura who is sent to England on the Kindertransport and how she uses music as hope for her and the ones around her. Hopefully, students will be able to attend a live performance by Lisa’s daughter, Mona Golabek, in March. Throughout this entire unit students will be asked to think reflectively both individually and as a group. As a culmination to this unit, Joe Klein, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, will come speak to the students and provide a unique opportunity for them to hear a first-hand account of what it was like to live through that horrific time in human history.