5.3 Further examples of practice.

Example 1

What Would You Have Done?

In the BBC History Magazine Issue No. 10, Vol. 8, October, 2007, there is an article by Laurence Rees, of this title.  (pp.17 - 23). In this article, he gives a series of scenarios from first hand experience (e.g. the case of Estera Frenkiel' a teenage secretary in a Lodz Ghetto who was given 10 certificates excusing Jews from the death camps).  These or similar scenarios could be given to students and the question, ‘what would you have done ?' posed.  Once they had decided on their course of action and the reason for it, the example could be given.  In this way, they are encouraged to think about the experiences of others and their choices or lack of them.

Another book which gives first hand experiences and which might be used in the same way is ‘The Whisperers - Private Life in Stalin's Russia' by Orlando Figes which discusses the accounts of people in Stalin's Russia (e.g. the story of Pavel Wittenburg and his wife, Zina.  He was a geologist arrested and deported to a labour camp.  She was a doctor who followed him and worked in the labour camp as a volunteer.  He worked for the camp as a geologist and then when he was released continued his work as an employee).  Again to show understanding of the Stalinist regime such a story (or a contrasting one) could be given to the students and they have to decide what they would have done in the circumstances.

Or Wild Swans by Jung Chang if students are studying Mao's China.


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