Teaching the Holocaust Through Film

May/June 2017

Source: Social Education, Volume 81, Number 3, May/June 2017, pp. 169-173(5)


Feature films are one of the most powerful tools in a history teacher's arsenal and also one of the most misused. Many of the films shown by teachers are appropriate for teaching content and also serve to engage students. Some of the most popular films used by teachers are Glory (1989), Dances with Wolves (1990), Saving Private Ryan (1998), and All Quiet on the Western Front (1979). One film that has been very popular in classes is Schindler's List (1993). In this article, I discuss appropriate criteria for choosing films for teaching about the Holocaust, and suggest other films that are appropriate and effective pedagogical tools. Due to space, the discussion in this article is limited to Hollywood "feature" films, though documentary films are also valuable.

Updated: Jun. 07, 2017