Teacher to Teacher

1st November 2002 at 00:00
I devised this project as a prelude to a series of lessons on the Holocaust. I start with a mock newspaper article about an 85-year-old former Nazi camp commandant found guilty of war crimes. The article says he was responsible for the deaths of about 120,000 people.

What punishment will we give him? Initially, the majority often argue he's had to live with this for a long time and has been punished enough.

I begin showing the film Escape from Sobibor, about a break-out from the concentration camp. After about 30 minutes, when they have seen the cattle trucks arrive and some shootings, I stop the film to discuss topics such as prejudice and punishment. I often find they begin to change their minds, perhaps arguing now from the victims' point of view.

Later we finish watching the film and move on to look at how we can prevent something like this happening again.

Antony Edkins, headteacher at Falmer High School, Brighton.

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