Activity 6 - Edith Birkin

1. Create an acrostic poem in response to Edith's testimony about her experiences during the Holocaust. Select a word that takes on significant meaning to you having read her account e.g. alone, devastated, nobody.

2. The Holocaust reminds us of the role we can play as individuals in making moral choices. One of the many lessons to be learned from the Holocaust is that there can be no room for racism in our society and rather than fear differences, we should try to respect each other and our ethnic, cultural, religious and sexual differences.

  • Respond in artistic form to the testimonies you have listened to. Choose one of the six Student topics from this website as your theme. Use different techniques including painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, tile making, sculpture and relief.

Plan an IT presentation of no more than 10 minutes. Its aim is to instruct students your age about lessons to be learned from the Holocaust. Your audience is a group of Year 9 students. Theme your presentation and think how you can conclude your presentation with a message for students today, linking it to the Holocaust. What are the human lessons to be learned for today?

No more than 4 testimonies
Photographic images
Historical sources
Items mentioned by survivors e.g. pyjamas

4. It can be very painful for survivors to talk about their memories. Interviewers have to be particularly sensitive to their feelings. Draw up a list of questions you would like to ask a survivor about their experiences. Record your questions on the Student worksheet: Survivor interview .

5. During this project you have listened to survivors relating their personal experiences during the Holocaust. Fela Bernstein talks about hiding with her family "like Anne Frank".

  • Read the Student information card: Anne Frank. She said in her diary "It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." It is remarkable that Anne Frank and others who suffered during the Holocaust still managed to retain a belief in the goodness of human nature.
  • Use the information from the testimonies you have listened to, together with any additional research to complete this activity. Divide into two groups. One group should find evidence to support Anne's personal claim that people are truly "good at heart", whilst the other group should find evidence to counteract this claim. Both groups should then discuss their conclusions.
  • Divide into small discussion groups and consider the differences between reading a diary account of the Holocaust and listening to survivors' testimonies. Come back together as a larger group, to share your response.

6. Revisionists try to change historical facts and sometimes deny the existence of the Holocaust, even though a large amount of evidence remains for us to hear and read. 

  • Can you find from newspapers references to recent examples of Holocaust denial
  • Write an account using your research on this website and elsewhere to prove the following statement: The Holocaust culminated in the murder of six million Jewish people, including 1.5 million children by the Nazis and their collaborators. We have gathered evidence to prove this statement is correct.