Fostering academic excellence and biblical virtue to equip students for lives as local and global Christian servants.

Holocaust History Through Lit and Film

Course Catalog ID:
Subject Categories:
Academic Elective, History, Literature and Media, New and Improved, Social Studies / Social Science

Through this course, students will gain a better understanding of the history of the Holocaust through primary sources including photographs, newspaper articles, and survivor testimonies in addition to a variety of films like Schindler’s List (1993), Life is Beautiful (1997), and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) and works of nonfiction literature including Night by Elie Wiesel and This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski. Students will gain a foundational understanding of the events and factors leading up to the Holocaust including the history of antisemitism and eugenics; they will also explore, analyze, and critique Nazi propaganda and symbols and review different responses to the events of the Holocaust as they unfolded, with a particular focus on youth. Students will read works and view films and testimonial videos of those who experienced the Holocaust in hiding, concentration camps, and as spectators and witnesses, as well as read the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman, discussing and analyzing how the medium provides a powerful telling of the events. Finally, students will research and evaluate other genocides in history, creating a synthesized project that draws connections between them and the Holocaust. Through class discussions, lectures, and assignments, students will engage with these texts along with historical context and secondary scholarship, learning how to synthesize their own thoughts and ideas with those in the larger academic conversation. Students will also receive expert feedback on research-supported essays featuring textual analysis, interpretation, and persuasion.

Grade Levels*:
10, 11, 12
* Enrollment restricted based on Date of Birth and Grad Year (whichever is more limiting). Enrollment outside these levels requires written concurrence from TPS Support.
• Successful completion (75% or higher) of any TPS English 3 (or higher) course
━ OR ━
• Successful completion of Readiness Test
Notes and Conditions

Mature Content: Due to the unavoidable graphic nature of some of the material, the course is limited to students in grades 10-12. We have taken care to avoid gratuitous content, but there is no provision for students who are not prepared to encounter mature or distressing narrative and imagery.

Transcript Planning: On a TPS transcript this course lists for credit as an Academic Elective.

“This course was absolutely amazing. Not only did we go over the Holocaust itself, but we learned about what led up the the event as well as the aftermath of it. We really went in-depth when learning about eugenics and why the Nazis and Germans thought what they did, which was very informative and critical to understand why the Holocaust occurred. The testimonies, diaries, books, and movies that we watched were wonderful and so, so informative. All of our writing assignments encouraged thinking further about what we read and watched. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in the Holocaust and the WWII time period!”

Everett B
Reviews from Students and Parents