|Beyond the Numbers|
BAM How is the Holocaust relevant to students today?
Marcus It raises questions about the fragility of democracy, the use and abuse of technology and power, and the highs and lows of human behavior. Unfortunately, in the Holocaust there are mostly lowsóthere were very few rescuers. Itís important to think about why that was.
BAM What are the best resources for teachers?
Marcus Teachers should use personal testimonies and not get lost in giant numbers. The study of the Holocaust is an ocean of resources. I recommend All But My Life: A Memoir, by Gerda Weissmann Klein; Alex-andra Zapruderís Salvaged Pages, which is a compilation of childrenís diary fragments; and Friedrich, a novel for middle schoolers by Hans Richter; as well as countless video testimonies.
BAM How do you help teachers in states with little access to Holocaust materials?
Marcus In February we participated in an electronic field trip for more than a million kids all over the country. For a while we had a grant to go to underserved areas. Iíve been to New Hampshire, Alabama, Mississippi, Idaho, Alaska, and three islands of Hawaii. Many of these kids will never get to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. A few years ago I was in Lithuania.
BAM Who else do you train?
Marcus Iím working with colleagues to train police and FBI agents and military groups. An entire class of the U.S. Naval Academy came to visit.
BAM What are the challenges for teachers of the Holocaust?
Marcus One daunting obstacle is that teachers rarely have enough time. In some states, social studies and history are being minimized. We provide an array of lessons and resources, many Web based, and let teachers pick and choose. Some teachers have a day or a week [for the lesson], others a semester.