The Struggle to Prevent Genocide 
in a Post-Holocaust Era

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented" (Elie Wiesel).  

After the killing of more than 6 million people in the Holocaust, the United States and the world proclaimed that 'never again' would something such as this happen. However, to date, millions more have died at the hands of intolerant people. Thus, what better place to raise social awareness than in the classroom? 

Elie Wiesel's novel, Night, is often a required text in the classroom. However, rarely do we find that the text is taken out of the sole context of the Holocaust and brought into the light of recent acts of genocide across the globe. Thus, this unit is meant as a way for students to question the powers and responsibilities of entire countries, interrogate the actions and inactions of individuals, research what has been and should still be accomplished, acknowledge that intolerance leads to inhumanity, and ultimately enlighten others about the prevalent issue of genocide today. 

Finally, City High's students have been held to very high academic standards and rigor. In this way, we feel that they have a plethora of prior knowledge pertaining to analytic writing and extensive research. Thus, this unit is meant for the students to move beyond the traditional form of English Language Arts and make larger connections to world culture through this alternative, but still challenging, assessment.