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Anne Frank: Interviews


Students will interview survivors from World War II.

Intended Learning Outcomes

To learn about America's role during and Americans perceptions of WWII.
To practice interview skills.
To understand the importance of civic responsibility.
To learn about America's role as a world power.

Instructional Procedures


See preface material from 'Anne Frank in the World, 1929 - 1945 Teacher Workbook.'

Students should interview people they know that were alive during WWII. Questions might include:

  1. How much newspaper and radio coverage was there about human rights abuses in Europe?
  2. How did the American war effort use any information they did know?
  3. What do they remember about the public's reaction to the genocide during the war and after it was over?

Students might also interview local survivors or liberators about what they thought America knew and what they expected of the USA. Students might audio or video record the interviews and put together a class 'talk show' on the topic for other classes to use.

A second segment of the talk show might include interviews and commentary including a commentary about today's human rights abuses. Questions to consider include:

  1. Do we know more about current situations (Bosnia is a good example because of the press it has received)? Why?
  2. What effect has television had on our knowledge about the situation? Is this change positive or negative?
  3. Does seeing violence each day on our televisions motivate us to help stop it or desensitize us?
  4. What should we be doing as American citizens to stop this violence?

Finally, students could organize a school effort to educate others about current human rights abuses. A letter writing campaign informing our elected officials of student interest (while teaching civic responsibility) might also attract the press and thereby educate others.

Created: 02/24/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018