Resource Title

Why teach about the Holocaust?


This short introduction provides an essential overview on education about the Holocaust that can support educators, students and policymakers alike in their understanding of genocide and why it is vital that we continue to teach about the Holocaust today.

Resource Details


“Contemplating the pedagogical concerns facing educators when it comes to teaching about the Holocaust, one can foresee educational outcomes that are reflected in the goals of UNESCO. Discrimination, stigmatization and denial of fundamental rights of groups have the potential to escalate into gross violations of human rights and genocide if preventive measures are not taken early on. Education is essential to better understand the causes and warning signs of genocide and mass violence, and to strengthen efforts at genocide prevention.”

Why teach about the Holocaust? seeks to make the history, ideas and experiences of Holocaust survivors during the Second World War accessible for educators to explore in groups and classrooms and how it links to genocide taking place in the world today.

The document is divided into two or four page sections and covers many entry points for thinking about teaching the history of the Holocaust in Europe and the many challenges it presents today. The sections are as follows:

  1. A century of genocide
  2. The holocaust was a defining historical moment
  3. Genocide is not inevitable
  4. States and citizens have responsibilities
  5. Silence contributes to oppression
  6. Prejudice and racism have roots
  7. Modern technology can be abused
  8. Teaching about the Holocaust presents challenges and opportunities to educators
  9. Resources for teaching the Holocaust and other genocides

This resource also includes pull-out quotes, images, cartoons and reflective questions with an accessible design and layout for many different kinds of readers.

Further reading

Use the Genocide learning module to explore the 8 stages of genocide in more detail, a selection of genocides that have taken place in recent history (Bosnia, Rwanda, debating Darfur, the Armenian genocide and the American genocide) and reflections on an action project that took up the theme of genocide


Available from:

Download Why teach about the Holocaust PDF (896 KB)