REMINDER: Summer Virtual Institute for Teachers: Holocaust Testimony and Historical Comparisons

By Christy Bailey-Tomecek - June 7, 2021

Dates: August 16-18, 2021

Join us for a 3-day online professional learning institute for history teachers in grades 6-12, Holocaust Testimony and Historical Comparisons: Race and Second-Class Citizenship in Nazi Germany and Prewar United States.

Each day, we will meet for a 3-hour interactive online session, complemented by 2-hours of self-paced asynchronous study. Upon completion, participants will receive Yale’s Fortunoff Video Archive Certificate of Participation for 15 hours of professional learning, and they will be invited to teach with curricular materials from the institute during the 2021/22 school year.

There is no cost for participating teachers.

Registration deadline: August 9, 2021


To make sense of the past and their own moment in time, students need to engage in historical inquiry and interpretation. They need to learn how to analyze primary sources, examine historical narratives, and make careful historical comparisons that emphasize both differences and similarities across contexts.

Our practice-oriented institute will explore teaching historical inquiry and research skills to middle school and high school students, using materials from the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies.

We will analyze the testimonies of Martin Schiller, other survivors, and Leon Bass, an African American soldier who arrived at Buchenwald in April 1945, and explore how race restrictions of citizenship functioned in their respective contexts. Recent scholarship will also help us examine points of contact between race laws in the United States and Nazi Germany.

The institute will combine conversations with historians, exploration of testimonies and other historical sources, and work with practical instructional strategies that engage students in historical thinking.

What you will gain:

  • Deepen your understanding of the comparative study of the Nazi racial regime
  • Practice effective ways of teaching with testimonies and other complex primary sources
  • Learn instructional strategies that help bring historical scholarship into the classroom.

We will have contributions from scholars and teachers, including:

  • David Blight, Yale History Department, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
  • Michael Brenes, Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
  • Anna Duensing, Yale History Department
  • Clem Harris, Africana Studies, Utica College
  • Aya Marczyk, Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies
  • Marci Shore, Yale History Department
  • David Simon, Yale Genocide Studies Program
  • Timothy Snyder, Yale History Department
  • Nikolaus Wachsmann, Birkbeck, University of London
  • James Q. Whitman, Yale Law School
  • Stuart Abrams, Avon High School, Avon CT
  • Leslie Blatteau, Metropolitan Business Academy, New Haven
  • Max Comando, Metropolitan Business Academy, New Haven

Follow-up activities:

During the 2021/22 school year, participants will be invited to:

  • Teach with curricular materials from the institute and provide insights and feedback
  • Meet with other teachers and scholars from the institute to share ideas and teaching practices
  • Participate in a follow-up after-school webinar offered in the fall and spring


For more more information, please reach out to Aya Marczyk at