Classroom Presentations

PowerPoint Presentations History Made Relevant

Those who cannot remember the past are not condemned to repeat it,
but simply to forget it. …Education is one hedge against such oblivion…

– Lawrence Langer, Using and Abusing the Holocaust

Over the course of a prolific decade as HHRC’s Education Outreach has carefully assembled an extensive menu of PowerPoint presentations on the Nazi Holocaust and issues of human rights, past and present.

These classroom presentations, typically animated with film clips, archival photography, maps and graphics, can be adapted to grade level, adjusted for length, and coordinated with a sequence of lesson plans. To schedule a free presentation at your school, contact:

207.621.3530 |

PowerPoint Highlight

Hitlerjugend: The Hitler Youth

“I begin with the young,” said Hitler. “We older ones are used up…but my magnificent youngsters! Are there finer ones anywhere in the world? Look at all these men and boys! What material. With them I can make a new world.” Hitler placed the future of Germany on the shoulders of ideologically steadfast youth, made fully aware of their responsibility as German soldiers and mothers. By 1939, more than seven million German boys and girls belonged to the Hitler Youth. This session examines this state-sponsored organization and its indoctrination of German children as obedient servants of the Third Reich.


For Students & Teachers Topics in Holocaust Studies

America and the Holocaust

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me… So reads the sonnet on the Statue of Liberty, America’s symbol of welcome to immigrants disembarking on her shores. Why then wasn’t the rescue of Jews and other victims of the Nazis a national priority for the American government during World War II? This session will investigate how antisemitism, isolationism, the Great Depression, and the U.S. State Department’s refugee policy all played a role in making it difficult or impossible for refugees to obtain entry visas into the United States.

Varian Fry


Varian Fry, the first American recognized as a “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem. was an American journalist who ran a rescue network in Nazi-occupied Vichy, France.

Choices and Responsibilities

What roles do we play in everyday life? How do we interact with the people around us? What motivates our choices? During this workshop designed for middle schools, students will investigate the complex dynamics of personal interaction, and examine their own everyday choices and strategies in relation to four basic role types: perpetrator, victim, upstander, and bystander.

Displaced Persons: Renewing Life

With the end of World War II in Europe, millions of uprooted non-Germans from all over Europe found themselves homeless in Germany. The majority returned to their homelands. Most Jewish Holocaust survivors from Eastern Europe, however, did not wish to return to their countries of origin. Classified as displaced persons (DPs), they were placed in Allied refugee camps. Combining personal testimonies, photographs, and video, this presentation recounts the stories of these displaced persons as they attempt to renew their lives and rebuild communities.

Documenting the Holocaust student version | educator version

Despite the testimony of survivors and volumes of documentation left by the Nazi regime, some individuals persist in denying the Holocaust. In this PowerPoint presentation, participants will examine primary source documents as evidence of the Holocaust.

Examining Perpetrator Documents

Much of the primary evidence of the Holocaust – documents, photographs, film – was produced and left behind by the perpetrators. This session provides students an opportunity to examine and analyze official documents and military orders generated by the Third Reich.

The Extermination Camps

How did the Nazi death camps come to exist? This presentation outlines the evolution of the extermination camp system: the formation of the Reinhard Camps, the Wannsee Conference, and the construction of Auschwitz-Birkenau, largest and most deadly of the killing centers. In addition to archival photographs, the presenter will share present day images and perceptions from her visits to these historical sites.

German Propaganda Posters

This PowerPoint looks at infamous Nazi propaganda posters, showing bold examples of the distorted messaging and overt manipulation employed to win popular support for the Nazi program.


Germany and Poland: A Journey into the Past

Through both period and present day photographs, the presenter guides the audience on an educational tour of Holocaust sites in Germany and Poland.

Ghettos in Europe


Focusing on three ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe – Kovno, Lodz, and Warsaw – this presentation explores the origins of the ghettos, daily life for their inhabitants, deportation, and the ultimate destruction of the ghettos by the Nazis.

History of Antisemitism

In 1879 German journalist Wilhelm Marr originated the term “antisemitism” to denote the hatred of Jews. While history’s most extreme example of antisemitism remains the Nazi Holocaust, hatred of Jews pre-dates the modern era. This session surveys the history of antisemitism from the pre-Christian era to the 21st century.

Hitlerjugend: The Hitler Youth

Hitlerjugend: The Hitler Youth

I begin with the young,” said Hitler. “We older ones are used up…but my magnificent youngsters! Are there finer ones anywhere in the world? Look at all these men and boys! What material. With them I can make a new world.” Hitler placed the future of Germany on the shoulders of ideologically steadfast youth, made fully aware of their responsibility as German soldiers and mothers. By 1939, more than seven million German boys and girls belonged to the Hitler Youth. This session examines this state-sponsored organization and its indoctrination of German children as obedient servants of the Third Reich.

The Holocaust: An Overview

This PowerPoint offers an overview of the World War II Holocaust: the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, legal restrictions imposed on Jews, the formation of the ghettos, and, finally, the mass deportations to concentration and extermination camps.

The Kindertransport and Nicholas Winton, An Unsung Hero

Heroic individuals risked their lives to organize the Kindertransports. One, Nicholas Winton, set up an organization for the Czech Kindertransport in Prague in early 1939. Winton managed to arrange the escape and safe transport of 669 children, all of whom reached Great Britain. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that Nicholas Winton’s efforts became public. This presentation chronicles Winton’s story in the larger context of the Kinderstransport, its origins and impact.

Kurt Gerstein: A Spy in the SS?

Engineer Kurt Gerstein joined the SS and was assigned to the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen-SS in Berlin, where he distinguished himself – despite being opposed to Nazi Party politics. In August 1942, when Gerstein was called upon to aid the implementation of the Final Solution, he witnessed gassings at the death camp at Belzec. Why would an anti-Nazi join the SS? And what did Gerstein, whose story is the subject of the film Amen, do with his first-hand knowledge of the Final Solution?

My Place in Society

How do you see yourself? How do you imagine others see you? As a victim? Perpetrator? Bystander? Upstander? Appropriate for high school students, this workshop combines video clips with hypothetical and real-life scenarios to explore the roles people play in an ethnically diverse society.

Other Victims, Other Voices: Nazi Persecution of Non-Jews

rosa winkel

The rosa winkel or pink triangle was the Nazi badge for homosexual prisoners

While Jews were targeted for extinction by the Nazis, other groups were persecuted either for who they were or what they did. This presentation investigates various victims groups – political opponents, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, the mentally and physically handicapped, Roma and Sinti, Polish and Soviet prisoners of war – and why they were targeted.

Poetry to Remember

A powerful poem or striking photograph of the Holoocaust can evoke a profound emotional response. In this workshop, students will engage poetry as a medium of personal expression, reflection, and understanding.

Pyramid of Hate

History offers dark examples of ways in which stereotyping, scapegoating, dehumanization, and discrimination can escalate to mass murder or genocide. The Pyramid of Hate is a visual tool to describe this dangerous progression, with each level illustrated here through Holocaust survivor testimony. Looking at real-life situations that may have started out as whispering behind someone’s back but escalated to hate speech or violence, students consider how the Pyramid of Hate may sometimes apply to their own lives.

Theresienstadt: Gateway to Auschwitz

Theresienstadt: Gateway to AuschwitzProminent Jews from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia were sent, many with their families, to Theresienstadt, a unique Nazi facility that served as model ghetto “settlement,” assembly camp, and concentration camp. Over 90% of the 15,000 children who passed through Theresienstadt died. Despite terrible living conditions and the constant threat of deportation, Theresienstadt sustained a sophisticated cultural life. Using oral testimonies, archival photography, and artwork produced by prisoners, this presentation delves into the stories of people deported to Theresienstadt.

The Warsaw Ghetto and the Uprising

Soon after the Nazi invasion of Poland, closed ghettos were established as a provisional measure to control and segregate Jews. The Warsaw ghetto, established October 2, 1940, was the largest. Ghetto conditions were horrible with many dying of starvation and disease, and many more deported to death camps. With the final liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in April 1943, the Warsaw Uprising began.


For Educators Pedagogical Presentations

Curricular Strategies for Teaching about Diversity, Prejudice, and the Holocaust

Encountering the Holocaust inspires students to grapple with vexing issues – prejudice, stereotyping, peer pressure, racism – that often confound their own lives. This session provides educators with a general framework, discussion strategies, and effective activities for teaching the Holocaust as an interdisciplinary unit to middle school students.

From Prejudice to Genocide: Confronting Bias

How do we teach tolerance in today’s perilous world? Can we teach our children to look before they leap? To stand in other people’s shoes? To help students cope in a world held hostage by terrorism, we need to confront the deep-seated roots of terrorist behavior in prejudice, stereotyping, and hatred. This dialogue-based workshop explores the origins of bias, citing the Nazi Holocaust as a case study.

Guidelines for Teaching the Holocaust

This session presents the guidelines for teaching the Holocaust developed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). In response to questions and concerns that may be raised by students, parents, communities, and administrators, the USHMM offers a framework for the rationale of Holocaust studies in secondary school, as well as content outlines for teachers new to the field.

The Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine

Founded in 1985, the Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC) is a non-profit, non-sectarian Holocaust and human rights resource center dedicated to education, exhibition, and advocacy in classrooms and communities throughout Maine. This PowerPoint presents an overview of the programming and resources of the HHRC.

Integrating a Study of the Holocaust into the Curriculum

A study of the Holocaust usually appears in middle school Social Studies or Language Arts curricula. This workshop considers additional strategies for integrating Holocaust studies into science, math, technology, art and music. Hands-on activities and specific resources will be shared, and participants receive handouts, lesson plans, and an extensive bibliography.

The Kindertransport: Journeys to Safety

In response to the violence of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) in November 1938, England allowed nearly 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to flee to safety in Great Britain. This presentation introduces a five-day core unit on the Kindertransport (Children’s Transport), including literature, videos, internet resources, and methodology.


Children on the first Kindertransport arrive in Harwich, England

Literature of the Holocaust

This session will focus on the essential “must have” literature and resource materials – including fiction and nonfiction – to support and enrich a unit of study on the Holocaust.

Strategies for Understanding Holocaust Literature

Holocaust literature presents unique challenges to young readers. In this workshop we develop strategies and review best practices for integrating reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities in the classroom, as well as finding opportunities to actively engage students through collaborative learning.

Teaching about Diversity and Prejudice Using Picture Books

Using picture books as the foundation for lessons on diversity and prejudice, this workshop will introduce participants to resources and activities recommended for primary students.

Teaching the Holocaust Using Picture Books

Picture books stimulate the senses, engage the emotions, and often motivate a student to look more closely and learn more. In this workshop, we evaluate best practices for using picture books in a Holocaust curriculum. Participants will receive a bibliography of picture books on the Holocaust and a checklist of Holocaust literature organized thematically.

Using Young Adult Diaries to Teach the Holocaust

Many students learn about the Holocaust through the pages of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. Anne’s story is one of many that put a human face on remote statistics and unimaginable suffering. Focusing on diaries written by young adults during the World War II Holocaust, this session weighs the values and limitations of the diary as a teaching tool, with specific suggestions for its use in the classroom.