the YIZKOR project logo



I/we remember

legacy education

tribute wall



Our Family Tree || My Jewish Roots || Lost Communities || The Righteous

"History Has A Name" Legacy Workshop

This workshop is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the enormity of the tragedy of the Holocaust by introducing them to a child's shoe, an ordinary thing, which is presented against the backdrop of the Holocaust. The workshop is intended to serve as an adjunct to existing Holocaust curricula or programs, and consists of three (3) modular units and a culminating activity that can be customized for classroom use.

In the culminating activity, students have an opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and the material they have encountered about the Shoah, and to creatively express themselves. This can be done with any number of activities. For example, students can create a Yizkor Legacy Memorial Candle plate. While educators should place few constraints on the content, one can use as the base design a hexagonal template, a six-sided construct that is symbolic not only of the six million lives lost, but also of six individual lives. The legacy plates can be used as part of individual, family, school, and/or community remembrances for Yizkor-linked observances. This YIZKOR project workshop emphasizes the importance of personalizing our remembrances of the victims...seeing them as people - not numbers - and seeks to offer insights into the lives of individuals and communities that were lost in the Holocaust.

The workshop applies constructivist learning approaches and critical questioning and discussion, engaging students as they explore a child's shoe while simultaneously building a connection (through the shoe) to the child to whom it belonged. The use of contrasting images and stories is not only applied within each part but also between units. For example, in Part II students again encounter ordinary things, only this time the single shoe is replaced with the image of thousands of shoes warehoused by the Nazis. Similarly, the mounds of shoes stand in contrast to the absence of even a single shoe as students explore one of the the Lost Communities in Lithuania.

Click here to read a detailed description of
each module and to download classroom materials

"Footprints: Discovering the Holocaust Through Historical Artefacts" shares a compelling story about love and and death using a child's shoe, a precious artifact, recovered at Auschwitz Birkenau.

We wish to thank and acknowledge the following individuals and groups. "Ordinary Things" Credits: Pedagogical concept and educational materials were created by Paul Salmons, Holocaust Education Development Programme, Institute of Education, University of London and The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme; The "Footprints: Discovering the Holocaust through Historical Artefacts" video for educators was produced by Cornelia Reetz, United Kingdom Holocaust Centre, Nottinghamshire; Photography of the child's shoe was provided courtesy of Olivia Hemingway; The shoe is part of the Collections of the Imperial War Museum London. Additional materials and photographs include: "Artifacts from the Holocaust" educational materials for Hinda Cohen's Shoe and "Stories Behind the Names" Yad Vashem Heroes' and Martyrs' Holocaust Remembrance Authority; Archival photographs, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; and, the Jaeger Report from the Holocaust History Project; and ShtetlLinks from JewishGen.