Holocaust Education

Presenting "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945:" An exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 is a traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through reproductions of historic photographs and documents, this exhibition explores the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazi regime’s persecution of homosexuals, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.

The Center for Diversity Education will be hosting Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals February 12-April 7, 2017 in UNC Asheville's Ramsey Library. Day and evening programming will include docented tours, film screenings, and lectures.

To find out more about the exhibit, contact Deborah Miles at [email protected].

In addition to the Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals exhibit, we have many other opportunities for Holocaust Education in the classroom. Learn more by viewing the content below.


Eyewitness Testimony

Above, Dr. Walter Ziffer shares his story from the Holocaust with teachers in a professional development seminar, hosted by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust and the UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education.

The Center provides multiple resources for eyewitness testimony. These resources follow the model of "Facing History and Ourselves," which is a pedagogy based on eyewitness accounts and primary source documents to teach critical thinking. The Center provides programs and resources for students, educators, and community members, including speakers, exhibits, professional development, and classroom materials.

Survivor and Witness Videos

The Center is in the process of creating four videos on local witness and survivor stories.

Hilde Cohn Hoffman - Ms. Hoffman was interviewed in 1999 and shares the story of her best friend Lotte and how she escaped from Leipzig Germany and moved to Asheville.

Videos of Rubin Feldstein, Lotte Meyerson, Eric Wellisch, and Walter Ziffer are in progress. 

Testimony for the Classroom

In 1999, The Center for Diversity Education began documenting the stories of local families who witnessed, escaped, and survived the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust. That research became the basis of our exhibit Choosing to Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains, which is available for K-12 schools to rent at no cost. Click here to view summaries and transcripts of eyewitness testimony in UNC Asheville Special Collections.

Depending on health, distance, and scheduling, Rubin Feldstein and Walter Ziffer are available to speak to classrooms in person. Email Deborah Miles at [email protected] for contact information.

Additional Recommended Resources

Facing History and Ourselves - Teaches critical thinking through multiple historical events using primary source documents and eye witness accounts.

Kennesaw State University - Free Traveling Exhibits as well as a host of other resources

NC Council on the Holocaust - Professional Development and Traveling Exhibits

Teaching Tolerance - Free magazine and classroom resources for educators

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Museum with both traveling and on site exhibits as well as innumerable resources and  professional development for educators.

Yad Vashem - Shoah Museum in Jerusalem, Israel

Terms Defined

*Witnesses - This term is sometimes used to name those that left Europe before being sent to a Slave Labor or Death Camp.

*Survivor - This term is used to name those that experienced either Slave Labor or Death Camps. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum defines survivors and victims as anyone who was displaced,imprisoned, or murdered.

*Shoah - A Hebrew word meaning  “destruction” has been in use since the Middle Ages and became the standard  term for the murder of European Jewry as early as the early 1940s. It is the word most often used in Israel as in on the Yom Ha Shoah Day of Remembrance.

Lending Library

Educators may borrow the following books for a month-long period.

Individual Books

Alex Grobman, "Those Who Dared: Rescuers and Rescued"

Gordan A Craig, "The Germans"

Gutman, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (complete set)

Jill Dubin, "Little Hebrew Alpabet Coloring Book"

Joel Lurie Grishaver, "Building Jewish Life: Shabbat"

Linda Jacobs Altman, "Genocide: The Systematic Killing of a People"

Marga Silbermann Randall, "How Beautiful We Once Were"

Susan D. Bachrach, "Tell Them We Remember"

The Washington Post, "Holocaust: The Obligation To Remember"

Verlag Willmuth Arenhovel, "Topography of Terror"

Class Book Sets

Jane Yolan, "The Devil’s Arithmetic"

Art Spiegelman, "Maus I: My Father Bleeds History" and "Maus II: And Here My Trouble Began"

Rena Kornreich Gelissen with Heather Dune Macadam, "Rena’s Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz"

Eva Schloss, "Eva’s Story"

Choosing to Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains

In 1999, volunteers with the Center interviewed Witnesses*, Survivors*, and children of both to trace the impact of the Shoah on Western North Carolina. Choosing to Remember uses the methodology for Facing History and Ourselves, which relies on primary source documents and eye witness accounts to engage students in a critical analysis of history. While the exhibit selects text from all the interviews to tell a chronological story, a synopsis of the larger body of the interviews are a part of the UNC Asheville Special Collections. These materials are available in several formats for use in the classroom.

Traveling Exhibit 

"Choosing To Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains" is viewable as a PDF, and is also available as a traveling exhibit (one of twelve). Educators may reserve Choosing to Remember for a FREE month-long loan. Community organizations may also reserve any of the Center's twelve traveling exhibits for a modest fee.  To learn more about traveling exhibits visit the Exhibits page.

Identity Cards

Small "memory cards" are available for each student with all but one connecting to the stories on the board. Students may keep the cards to later share with their families.


Teachers may assign further research from stories in the traveling exhibit and/or the identity cards. Click here for information about summaries and transcripts of eyewitness testimony in UNC Asheville Special Collections.

Exhibits from Kennesaw State University Holocaust Museum

Each spring the Center hosts an exhibit from the Kennesaw State University Holocaust Museum.

2016 - The Tragedy of War: Japanese Internment 
February 29 - March 25, weekdays 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Karpen Hall Lobby of UNC Asheville

2015 - In Her Father's Eyes: A Slovak Childhood in the Shadow of the Holocaust

2014 - Remembering Ravensbruk: Women and the Holocaust

2013 - Parallel Journeys: WWII and the Holocaust through the Eyes of Teens

2012 - The Heroic Present: The Gypsy Photographs of Jan Yoors

Holocaust Educators Conference

The 2016 session of the NC Council on the Holocaust was held on April 5 at the Hines Grand Room at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. Teacher sub pay is provided by the NC Department of Public Instruction for public school teachers. Teachers are awarded .6 hours of renewal credit.

The scholar's lecture was given by Dr. Eric Roubinek, Assistant Professor of History at UNC Asheville. Dr. Walter Ziffer, emeritus professor from Mars Hill College, gave the survivor testimony.  Dr. Jonathan Wade, member of the NC Council on the Holocaust and former Director of Holocaust Education for NCCAT, shared best practices.