Resources for Holocaust Education in North Carolina

North Carolina has been in the forefront among the states in memorializing the Holocaust.  These efforts have educated the public to understand that the Holocaust was not a distant event but consequential here, too.  Indeed, one North Carolina native, Theresa Sternglanz, born in Tarboro in 1881, is counted among the six million Jews martyred.

In 1981 Governor James B. Hunt Jr. instituted the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, and four years later it became the first in the nation established by legislative decree.  The JHNC, in cooperation with the Council and the Holocaust Speakers Bureau, has developed a powerpoint presentation appropriate for students on “The Holocaust: A North Carolina Story.”

As survivors and eyewitnesses pass away, their descendants keep the memory alive and work to prevent its recurrence among any peoples.  The state includes an array of institutions dedicated to Holocaust education, research, and memorialization.

JHNC: The Holocaust: A North Carolina Story

This three-session PowerPoint presentation, prepared by JHNC historian Leonard Rogoff, explores the impact of the Holocaust on the Tar Heel State.  Session One explains “The State’s Jewish Heritage,” the history of Jews in North Carolina.  It illustrates public attitudes as Jews sought haven in America from Nazi persecutions.  Session Two focuses on “War and Holocaust,” how the state’s politicians and newspapers responded, how emigres made new lives here, and how veterans reacted to liberating the camps.  Session Three discusses “The Legacy of the Holocaust” on succeeding generations, the impact of survivors on North Carolina society and the state’s efforts to educate and memorialize.

Click here to download the PowerPoint.

North Carolina Council on the Holocaust

The Council was established in 1981 by Governor James B. Hunt under the auspices of the Department of Public Instruction.  In 1985 the General Assembly authorized it, the first legislature in the nation to create such a Council.

The Council offers lesson plans, guidebooks, teachers’ workshops, speakers, traveling exhibits, and trips to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.  It also sponsors an annual memorial ceremony.  It is an indispensable source for Holocaust educators. Among its publications is Cecile Holmes White, Witnesses to the Horror: North Carolinians Remember the Holocaust, available online, which includes testimonies by liberators, survivors, and their children.

Click here to visit the NC Council on the Holocaust

Holocaust Speakers Bureau: The Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education of North Carolina

Created in 2009 in Chapel Hill by children of survivors, the Center offers resources for community events and teacher development. Its speakers include survivors, liberators, and Holocaust scholars. Its website includes video testimonies by survivors resident in North Carolina

Choosing to Remember

Choosing to Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains, Center for Diversity Education, University of North Carolina-Asheville

The UNC-A Center offers speakers, exhibits, and programming to promote understanding and tolerance.  Its website contains narratives and oral histories detailing life stories of survivors who found homes in Western North Carolina.

Click here to read Choosing to Remember.

Butterfly Project

As part of a global project to create painted butterflies as a Holocaust memorial, this program includes educational programming focused on school children.  Students paint a butterfly to commemorate a specific Holocaust victim, which are enshrined on a memorial in Shalom Park. The Project also includes speakers and educational outreach to the schools.

Visit the Levine JCC’s Butterfly Project

College Holocaust Programs and Archives