Educational Focus and Resources of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dawn Marie Warfle
Chartered by an unanimous act of Congress in 1980, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America's national memorial and institution for the documentation, study, interpretation and presentation of Holocaust history. Located adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Museum's broad educational mission includes providing a wide range of services to teachers and students. Teaching the Holocaust to young people and providing staff development and materials to educators is a central objective of the organization.

The Gonda Education Center is the site of teacher training workshops, annual national conferences for teachers and administrators, and the Resource Center for Educators. The Resource Center holds collections of curricula, lesson plans, literature ranging from history and first person accounts to fiction and poetry, and audio-visual material. Staff are available to assist educators who write or call to request information.

Services and Resources Available from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Resource Center for Educators
The Center is open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily or by appointment. Educational materials are available for preview during a visit to the Museum. Written inquiries should be addressed to the Coordinator, Resource Center for Educators, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2150. Telephone: 202-488-2661; fax (202) 488-6137. The Internet e-mail address is education@ushmm.org.
A collection of teaching aids, Teaching About the Holocaust: Resource Book for Educators, is free of change and will be mailed upon request. Included in the book are: Guidelines for Teaching About the Holocaust, an Annotated Bibliography, and an Annotated Videography. Group visit information and articles on "Frequently Asked Questions," "The Holocaust: An Historical Summary," "Children in the Holocaust," as well as a chronology of the Holocaust are also provided.

The Museum Shop
The Museum Shop offers a variety of materials that are of great interest to educators. Two resources designed by the Education Department for classroom use are worth noting. First, there is the Artifact Poster Set with Teacher Guide: The nine 2' x 2' color posters feature artifacts from the Museum's vast collection. Highlighted themes include the isolation of victims using identifying stars and badges; the role of technology (early computers) in locating victims; the ideology and practice of racial hygiene; the use of deception in deportations; and examples of resistance and rescue. The set costs $29.95 ($5.00 s/h), and is available from the Museum Shop (100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20024-2150; 202-488-6144 (phone); 202-488-0438 (fax).
Second, there is Susan D. Bachrach's Tell Them We Remember: The Story of the Holocaust (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.,1994). Written for middle school students and based on the Permanent Exhibition of the Museum, it illustrates how the lives of more than twenty innocent children throughout Europe were affected by the Holocaust. The author draws on the Museum's artifacts, photographs, maps, and oral histories of Holocaust survivors to recount the children's experiences as the chronology of the Holocaust unfolds. 128pp. Hardcover price: $19.95; softcover: $10/95 (plus $5.00 s/sh).

Dawn Marie Warfle is the Coordinator of National Outreach in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Education Department. She oversees annual educator conferences and teacher training workshops at the Museum.