Genocidemr. Becker's Classroom

This comprehensive teacher's manual focuses on the Armenian Genocide of 1915 during which 1.5 million Armenians, half of the Armenian population, were systematically annihilated. It includes a 1-day, 2-day, and 10-day unit with all the materials teachers will need, including more than two dozen overheads, interactive classroom exercises and more.

Genocide education refers to education about patterns and trends in the phenomenon of genocide and/or about the causes, nature and impact of particular instances of genocide.[1]

Educating about genocide in Rwanda[edit]

  • Co-authors Audoin-Rouzeau and Becker from the opening of their chapter Collective Mourning: Freud's 'thoughts on death' are just as powerful. Before 1914, people had wanted to forget death, 'eliminate it from life.' But war brought it back on an industrial scale and it was unbearable.
  • Herman’s Biography. Note from the author. I published this biography draft on July 4, 2020. This may be my last significant revision for several years.

Recent Rwanda history curricula explicitly stipulate the teaching of the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi, notably through the comparison 'of different genocides' with a view to 'suggest ways of preventing genocide from happening again in Rwanda and elsewhere'. A comparative approach has been adopted, which is clearly reflected in the 2015 Curriculum for Sustainable Development.[1]

The competence-based curriculum framework mentions 'genocide studies' as a cross-cutting issue, therefore introducing the study of genocide in a variety of subject areas. It further states that 'Rwandan children should know about the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi alongside the Holocaust and other genocides'.[2]

Teaching about the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, and thereby introducing genocide studies in history textbooks and curricula, has been part of a gradual process to promote national unity and peace. This process included a moratorium on some chapters of Rwandan history in 1995, which ended when considerations pertaining to the 1994 genocide were introduced into the 2008 history curriculum. Recent approaches also built on the acknowledgement of the disastrous effects of pre-genocide Rwandan education, which contributed to discrimination against the Tutsi population and constituted a backdrop for the ideology that led to the genocide. In contrast, introducing the history of the genocide in the education system was a recognition that schools, in addition to non-formal and informal learning environments, are crucial venues to impart knowledge about the genocide and to overcome silence, denial and conflict. These changes also correspond to a deeper reflection on appropriate pedagogies to help learners grapple with the legacy of the genocide. According to Jean-Damascène Gasanabo, director-general of the Research and Documentation Center on Genocide at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) in Kigali, 'This change in the curriculum has been supplemented by a shift to transform learning from one based on standard rote memorization to one that encourages discussion and a spirit of critical thinking and analysis. This approach identi es the student as an active participant in the learning experience, not merely a silent recipient of history as 'evangelical speech'.'[1]

Aegis Trust's Sustainable Peace Model/Framework

The Kigali Genocide Memorial and Aegis Trust, in partnership with other Rwandan organizations such as the Educators' Institute for Human Rights, has developed education programmes and in-service training to help teachers build capacity and acquire historical knowledge to deal with genocides and mass atrocities. Such programmes emphasize 'critical thinking, empathy and individual moral responsibility.'[3] They explore historical examples, primarily the genocide of the Jewish people and the genocide of the Tutsi, through a 'Sustainable Peace Model/Framework' which seeks to link genocide education (looking back) to genocide prevention (looking into the present) to peace-building (looking forward).[1]

Education about the Holocaust[edit]

'Genocide education' deals with the phenomenon of genocide, while education about the Holocaust focuses above all on the causes and dynamics of the genocide of the Jewish people and responses to it. However, both fields are increasingly interconnected. Genocide studies – referring to academic research about the broader trends and patterns of genocide and mass atrocities – and genocide education have become more widespread in universities and schools, as genocide and mass atrocities are recurring phenomena in the world. The studies have expanded to examine theories about how and why genocide happens. Education about the particular event of the Holocaust includes considerations about the concept, planning and implementation of that genocide, and can prompt reflections as to how what we learn about the Holocaust can contribute to the prevention of mass atrocities today.[1]

The role of gender[edit]

Scholars and educators are increasingly recognizing and exploring gender as a dimension of genocide and other mass atrocities. Educators may wish to consider how gender influences, affects, and manifests itself in genocide, from the strategies of its perpetrators to the experiences of its victims.[1]

Historically, most atrocities have been committed by men. Genocide scholar Adam Jones, however, notes that 'when women, along with men, are mobilized, forced, encouraged, allowed to participate in genocide and other atrocious violence, they generally display no more reluctance than (often reluctant) males'. Wendy Lower, for example, studied the role of German women during the Third Reich and found that relative to their role in German society and their professional positions, women participated in the perpetration of crimes 'as zealous administrators, robbers, tormentors, and murderers'.[4][5][1]

Gender can shape and dictate both the experiences of victims and the methods perpetrators employ when committing genocide and mass atrocities. Roles often relegated to the female sphere can influence the fates of women. As traditional caregivers, for example, women who provide direct care for children or elderly relatives may inadvertently hinder or eliminate their own ability to survive genocidal violence. At the same time, perpetrators often differently persecute men and women. During the Holocaust, pregnant women and mothers of small children were consistently labeled 'incapable of work'. Consequently, women often found themselves among the first sent to the gas chambers.[6] Aggressors' intent on a symbolic and physical disruption of group reproduction often target women and girls for sexualized violence, such as mass rape or forced sterilization. Cases also exist in which boys and men have been systematically sexually victimized. Transgressions of gender norms such as homosexuality and transsexuality have also served as grounds for the targeting of both men and women.[1]

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 License statement/permission on Wikimedia Commons. Text taken from Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide, 18, 30, 34-35, 51-52, UNESCO, UNESCO. UNESCO.


  1. ^ abcdefghUNESCO (2017). Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide(PDF). Paris, UNESCO. pp. 18, 30, 34–35, 51–52. ISBN978-92-3-100221-2.
  2. ^Rwanda Education Board. 2015. Competence based curriculum: Curriculum framework pre-primary to upper secondary. Ministry of Education, Republic of Rwanda. le/2041/download?token=T398Bm6a
  3. ^Gasanabo, J.D., Mutanguha, F. and Mpayimana, A.. 2016. Teaching about the Holocaust and Genocide in Rwanda. Contemporary Review of the Middle East. Special Issue: Holocaust Education, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp. 329-345.
  4. ^Jones, A. 2017. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction, 3rd edition, Routledge.
  5. ^Lower, W. 2013. Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, Houghton Mi in Harcourt.
  6. ^United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 'Women during the Holocaust,'

Genocidemr. Becker's Classroom Rules

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Here, educators will find links to genocide curricula already in existence. There are some fabulous lesson plans available and we recommend PBS as a wonderful starting point, regardless of grade level. Most of these resources are for upper elementary through high school level, but many of these ideas can be adapted to all grade levels. If you find any one of these online resources particularly helpful, or have another suggestion, please let us know.

PBS Guide to Teaching Genocide

PBS Teachers is PBS' national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources. Here you'll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. We provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS' award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more.

This site offers four different teaching guides for separate age groups from grade 3 to grade 12. Guide includes text suggestions and many online resources.

Facing History and Ourselves

Founded in 1976, Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.

There are some absolutely fantastic lesson plans here. Just type in genocide in the webpage’s search box and you’ll have a ton of great material to check out.

Human Rights and Genocide:

Case Study of the First Modern Genocide of the 20th Century

This comprehensive teacher's manual focuses on the Armenian Genocide of 1915 during which 1.5 million Armenians, half of the Armenian population, were systematically annihilated. It includes a 1-day, 2-day, and 10-day unit with all the materials teachers will need, including more than two dozen overheads, interactive classroom exercises and more. Discussions include a wide range of topics related to the Armenian Genocide: the history of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, primary source documents, witness and survivor memoirs, maps and political-economic timelines, and the problem of denial. The lessons also consider the links between the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust, and capture other major human rights violations such as the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Rape of Nanking, and the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides.

The Genocide Teaching Project

The Project provides resources to teach about the legal concept of genocide in high schools, including a discussion of the Genocide Convention (1948), a brief overview of genocides that have taken place throughout history, and the types of behavior and actions, which may lead to genocide. Our two lesson plans include a 90-minute lesson on the genocide in Rwanda and a 45-minute lesson on the current violence in Darfur, Sudan. After the students learn about these two crises, the lessons conclude by having the students identify actions they can take - both as individuals and as a group - to impact the situation in Sudan and to ensure that genocide does not happen again.

Teach Against Genocide:

The State-by-State Campaign for Genocide Education

Teach Against Genocide (TAG) works to ensure that every student learns about mass atrocities and what they can do to prevent and stop them. We lobby local school boards and state legislatures to make human rights and genocide education a part of the school curriculum and to provide teacher trainings and materials.

This site provides a fairly comprehensive list of all educational resources regarding the teaching of genocide. We at One Million Bones suggest taking a look at the state of genocide education in general in order to understand the greater need for our project.


Documentary Films

Blessed is the Match: The Story of Hannah Senesh (2008)

Narrated by Joan Allen, Blessed Is the Match is the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc. Safe in Palestine in 1944, Hannah joined a mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. Shockingly, it was the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. Hannah parachuted behind enemy lines, was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis.

A free 30-page Study Guide for middle and high school students, and created by Facing History and Ourselves, is now available:

The Devil Came on Horseback (2007)

Brian Steidle was quite surprised to find himself an advocate for social and political change--when his personal point of view about the world of international politics was transformed by his serving as an observer for the African Union in the Sudan. For six months, he watched the Sudanese Arab-controlled government actively engage in an ongoing systematic genocide against black citizens living in the country’s Darfur region. He decided he had to do something to save hundreds of thousands of innocent people from slaughter.

Disarm. (2008)

Disarm. is an in depth study and status report about a crucial worldwide humanitarian effort, one which can, with the commitment of all governments, be realized. It involves the total ban of the manufacture, trade, stockpiling and deployment of all landmines, and the removal and destruction of all landmines that are still buried in fields and forests around the globe. These weapons of mass destruction cripple entire populations one man, woman or child at a time.

Genocide (1981)

Genocide tells the story of millions of men, women and children who were slaughtered in Hitler's “Final Solution”. Genocide won the 1981 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

My Neighbor, My Killer (2008)

The 1994 genocide of Tutsis by Hutus left Rwanda physically and psychically bereft and unable to function. The Gacaca Law mandated Tutsis and Hutus to reconcile--to forgive and move on with the rebuilding of the nation. Anne Aghion spent more than nine years chronicling the peace process to produce this brilliant documentary that brings us to a new level of understanding about the human capacity for creating mutuality.

Paper Clips (2004)

PAPER CLIPS is the moving and inspiring documentary film that captures how students in Tennessee responded to lessons about the Holocaust-with a promise to honor every lost soul by collecting one paper clip for each individual exterminated by the Nazis. Despite the fact that they had previously been unaware of and unfamiliar with the Holocaust, their dedication was absolute. Their plan was simple but profound. The amazing result, a memorial railcar filled with 11 million paper clips (representing 6 million Jews and 5 million gypsies, homosexuals and other victims of the Holocaust) which stands permanently in their schoolyard, is an unforgettable lesson of how a committed group of children and educators can change the world one classroom at a time.

'Screamers' (2006)

'Screamers' was directed by Armenian-American Carla Garapedian with the help of the band System of a Down. This film does not focus on one particular incident of genocide but attempts to look at the deeper questions behind its causes. In one segment, it explores the Armenian Genocide - the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians from 1915 to 1917 in the Ottoman Empire - and why it is so actively denied in Turkey. 'Screamers' also inspects the genocides in Darfur and Rwanda.

Shake Hands With the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire (2004)

This 2004 documentary is based on a book of the same name by now-retired Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, commander of the United Nations forces that served in Rwanda during the 1993-94 genocide. Dallaire implored the UN for more troops but was ultimately denied. However, his actions are credited for saving approximately 20,000 lives. The film was nominated for two documentary awards during the Sundance Film Festival.

Steal a Pencil for Me (2007)

A compelling documentary feature film by Academy Award® nominee Michèle Ohayon, this piece presents a story about the power of love and the ability of humankind to rise above unimaginable suffering.

Hollywood Films

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Ten years ago some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind took place in the country of Rwanda--and in an era of high-speed communication and round the clock news, the events went almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. In only three months, one million people were brutally murdered. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees, by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages.

Schindler’s List (1993)

This seven-time Academy Award winning film, directed by Stephen Spielberg, dramatizes the efforts of Oskar Schindler who saved the lives of over a thousand Polish Jewish refugees during the Holocaust of World War II. The website below provides still images of the actual list, as well as shots of “The Girl in Red” from the film:

Shooting Dogs (2005)

In April 1994, after the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda is shot down, the Hutu militias slaughter the Tutsi population. In the Ecole Technique Officielle, the Catholic priest Christopher and the idealistic English teacher Joe Connor lodge two thousand and five hundred Rwandans refugees, under the protection of the Belgian UN force and under siege by Hutu militia. When the Tutsi refugees are abandoned by the UN, they are murdered by the extremist militia.

Sometimes in April (2005)

One nation, decimated by ethnic rage. Two brothers, divided by marriage and fate. Idris Elba and Academy Award nominee Debra Winger star in Sometimes in April, a gripping drama inspired by true events surrounding one of history's darkest chapters: the 100 days of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Online Multi-Media

In addition to the use of film in the classroom, multi-media provides the instructor with a way of visually engaging students with a subject matter, often in a shorter space of time.


TED is an organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Today, TED boasts over 450 TEDTalks on a variety of subjects intended to “change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.”

Director/Founder of One Million Bones, Naomi Natale was just this year selected as a TED Senior Fellow. You can check out her bio here:

Complicated Hero

Samantha Power tells a story of a complicated hero, Sergio Vieira de Mello. This UN diplomat walked a thin moral line, negotiating with the world's worst dictators to help their people survive crisis. It's a compelling story told with a fiery passion. Samantha Power studies US foreign policy, especially as it relates to war and human rights. Her books take on the world's worst problems: genocide, civil war and brutal dictatorships.

Psychology of Evil

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Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to turn bad. In this talk, he shares insights and graphic unseen photos from the Abu Ghraib trials. Then he talks about the flip side: how easy it is to be a hero, and how we can rise to the challenge. Philip Zimbardo knows what evil looks like. After serving as an expert witness during the Abu Ghraib trials, he wrote The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. From Nazi comic books to the tactics of used-car salesmen, he explores a wealth of sources in trying to explain the psychology of evil.

Humanity and Poetry

Chris Abani tells stories of people: People standing up to soldiers. People being compassionate. People being human and reclaiming their humanity. It's 'ubuntu,' he says: the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me. Chris Abani's first novel, published when he was 16, was Masters of the Board, a political thriller about a foiled Nigerian coup. The story was convincing enough that the Nigerian government threw him in jail for inciting a coincidentally timed real-life coup. Imprisoned and tortured twice more, he channeled the experience into searing poetry.

YouTube Videos

While YouTube videos may not be of the same caliber and quality as documentary, they are great ways to get a discussion going in the classroom. It’s also appropriate to use YouTube Videos in order to talk about visual argument, rhetorical considerations, and audience. Students may also be encouraged to think about how they might create their own videos—and if they do, let us know. We’d love to link them to our website—in the Teaching Showcase, as well as here on the Online Multi-Media Resource Page.

Created @ Emory Universtiy in 2006 as part of Campus MovieFest, the world's largest student film festival. Sudan: The Silent Genocide documents the destruction of life in the Darfur region of Sudan as well as the lack of a notable response by the American public. The film, instead of entrenching itself in the atrocities currently underway in Darfur, decides to focuses on what the average American can do to help stop the genocide. Through photographs and interviews, the documentary encourages the audience not to make their silence a part of U.S. History.

Genocidemr. Becker's Classroom Activities

I wanted to let everyone know what is going on in the world...and give them information, so they could know what they could do to help. All images were found off of Google Image search.

Genocidemr. Becker's Classrooms

Personal account of an American witness to genocide in Darfur

Genocidemr. becker

Photographs of Cambodian Genocide

After the Holocaust, world leaders proclaimed, 'Never Again!' Then: Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and now Darfur, where more than 400,000 have been killed. Join the first permanent anti-genocide movement at

Armenian Genocide

Rwandan Genocide

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