About this resource

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What is the aim of the resource?

This resource seeks to help students understand how primary source materials can help develop our understanding of the Holocaust. With what is a relatively small selection of documents and artefacts, we are able to see the wider implications of the actions of the Nazi regime. The source material features personal insights and experiences, as well as institutional advice and propaganda. Together, this contributes towards a deeper understanding of how genocide can occur, which will hopefully help the younger generation to understand and prevent future such crimes against humanity.

When and where was the resource created?

The resource was created in two separate locations:

LGfL is fortunate to have worked with prominent historian Dr Helen Fry on a number of projects; all the videos in 'The Final Solution' section feature Helen on location at the lakeside villa in Berlin where the Wannsee Conference took place on 20 January 1942. She explains the background to 'The Final Solution' and the awful administrative efficiency of the Nazi regime. This footage was originally filmed in March 2015 as part of an international resource development visit to Berlin for the LGfL resource The Cold War.

The videos Ben Barkow on location at the Wiener Library in Central London were filmed in July 2015 in the Library’s basement, where the archive is hosted.

What is the Wiener Library?

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The Wiener Library is one of the world's leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. Formed in 1933, the Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. One of the key principles of the collection is to present historical evidence and arguments from very varied points of view, allowing visitors to make up their own mind about what happened during the Holocaust and modern-day genocides, such as in Darfur.

How is the resource organised?

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LGfL has been given unique access to the collection for this powerful resource for Key Stages 2-5 PSHE, Citizenship, History and R.E. The videos of Library Director Ben Barkow talking us through artefacts on display and in the archives at the Wiener Library are divided into eleven themes:

  • About The Wiener Library
  • Why archive genocide?
  • Modern-day genocide
  • Darfur
  • Children
  • Powerful artwork
  • Auschwitz Concentration Camp
  • Nazi propaganda
  • ‘The Final Solution’
  • The victim’s perspective
  • Fighting back

Documenting the Holocaust is a companion to Holocaust Explained, which was developed in partnership with LGfL, and for which the Wiener Library is now the long term custodian. LGfL will continue to work with the Wiener Library to develop both resources to ensure that they remain relevant and up to date, and that they meet the needs of UK schools.