No sophisticated discussion of the Holocaust, Israel, or even the diary of Anne Frank can avoid the complex issues surrounding the early Zionist movement. The United States support for Israel could also be controversial in class. However, the Holocaust was of such tremendous scale and historical relevance that awareness of anti-Semitism and Jewish history has increased dramatically throughout Western Europe and North America.
Comparing the experience of oppression, persecution, and torture of the Jews with the experience of oppression by other groups of people would offer the richest opportunities for students of history. History is about synthesis, analysis, and finding patterns among world cultures and in different periods of time. A multidisciplinary approach to history that incorporates some elements of personal psychology and sociology also enriches classroom discussions. This unit uses Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl to illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of history.
Although The Diary of a...
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