Holocaust stems from the Greek word “burnt hole,” but when the word Holocaust is mentioned today it refers to the rise of Nazi Germany in 1933 until the fall in 1945 (Skloot). More specifically, the Holocaust refers to the 11 million persecutions through concentration camps. The Holocaust is widely studied for various reasons, but the biggest reason is that “’we are seekers of understanding in the territory defined by those events” (Skloot 9). Through written work, such as poetry and plays, the Holocaust is brought to life in a more realistic way.
Through art we are able to connect to the human experience and gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of each other through cathartic experiences. Theatre creates an outlet for artists and audiences to share together. Teaching the Holocaust through performance and art allows for a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and allows students and audiences to gain insight on the events.
Through plays and poetry, I am creating a curriculum that is meant to be taught to high schoolers in community centers, synagogues and high schools about the Holocaust. The texts used to develop the curriculum are the plays Throne of Straw and Who Will Carry the Word? that are compiled into the book The Theatre of the Holocaust, the play Bent, and a compilation of poetry about every aspect of the Holocaust from the book Holocaust Poetry. The culmination of the course is a performance of scenes from the plays and selected poetry by the students.
Friedman, Sophia, "Walking in a Burnt Hole" (2014). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 18.