Playing Devil’s Advocate

Classroom Encounters with Holocaust Perpetrators

Authored by: Alasdair Richardson

The Routledge International Handbook of Perpetrator Studies

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138103245
eBook ISBN: 9781315102887
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315102887-31

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

This chapter considers the difficult negotiations that take place when educators introduce the narratives of perpetrators to school pupils in classroom discussions. Through the lens of Holocaust Education, it considers the possible benefits and pitfalls inherent in telling these narratives. It asserts that it is necessary to rehumanize perpetrators if young people are to begin to understand the human context of the event. The chapter considers many of the challenges for teachers (and pupils) as they explore the choices and actions of perpetrators. Consideration is given to when educators might feel it is appropriate to introduce perpetrator narratives into their schemes of work, taking into account variables such as the age, maturity, and social contexts of their pupils. It offers practical suggestions for educators (such as the use of photographs from the perpetrator’s perspective) to help pupils towards a critical understanding of such sources. Finally, a number of case studies of perpetrators are considered. These individuals’ stories intentionally provoke discussion around perpetrators’ backgrounds, choices, and actions. Finally, the chapter provides web links for further research and information.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.