History & Second Life, Pt. 1

As an SL-Junkie, fascinated with this virtual world and its possibilities, I’ve known for quite some time that I wanted to integrate it in my classroom. Not as a big time project, but why not use it now and then?

Rediscovering Web2.0 for myself, I stumbled across an article (in German: http://www.geschichte-und-neue-medien.de/?p=264 ) about the US Holocaust Museum in SL (http://slurl.com/secondlife/US%20Holocaust%20Museum1/1/35/27). I just had to check it out immediately.

The place captured me upon entering the first room.  In the colourful world of SL a room made in black & white attracts attention; it irritates and reminds you of its seriousness – it isn’t a game. 

Three boards invite you to examine. If you click them, you’ll get a notecard (NC) containing more information. 


„Prelude to Destruction“

The pretext for the violent pogroms of Kristallnacht was the November 7 assassination of a German diplomat in Paris, Ernst vom Rath, by Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish teenager whose parents, along with 17,000 other Polish Jews, had been recently expelled from the Reich. Initally denied entry into their native Poland, Grynszpan’s parents and the other expelled Polish Jews found themselves stranded in a refugee camp near the town of Zbaszyn in the border region between Poland and Germany. Though the Nazis portrayed the pogroms as spontaneous outbursts of popular outrage, they were calculated as acts of retaliation carried out by the SS, SA and local Nazi party organizations. (…)

„Kristallnacht: Night of Broken Glass“

Kristallnacht refers to the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938 throughout Germany, annexed Austria, and in areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia recently occupied by German troops. (…) It was a turning point in history. The pogrom marked an intensification of Nazi anti-Jewish policy that would culminate in the Holocaust – the systematic, state-sponsored murder of Jews. (…)

„After Kristallnacht“

During and after Kristallnacht, for the first time, Jews were arrested on a massive scale and transported to Nazi concentration camps. About 30,000 Jews were sent to Buchenwald, Dachau, Sachsenhausen, where hundreds died within weeks of arrival. (…)

After having read everything the room has to offer (I didn’t copy all the information on the NCs), I continued through a hidden door. The second scene is more like the usual SL setting, e.g. colours.

Here, a whole quarter, inviting you to discover its secrets, is re-enacted. Many rooms hold additional NCs on the Reichspogrom Night… but I don’t want to give everything away. Go and experience the museum for yourselves – it’s worth it!

Some last notes: I haven’t worked like this with my students yet. But after having been to the museum, I know that next autumn, when the subject is on the curriculum again, I’m going to let my students explore it in SL. Before including this into a lesson, however, the teacher should have some basic knowledge about SL. For my students, I plan on using two lessons – one for introducing SL and another one for the task of exploring the museum. Of course I’ll let you know how it turns out… even if it takes a few months.

To be continued…

PS: More information:  http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/kristallnacht/


Über Azraelle

Teacher with some serious addictions like books, SL, sun, cheese (way better than chocolate), sunny mornings.... Zeige alle Beiträge von Azraelle

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