Our Pedagogical Resources webpage serves as an open resource of ideas for bringing the 1938Projekt into classrooms and beyond—spurring conversations about both history and current affairs. We present here a collection of ready-to-use lesson plans and assignments and additional sources, shared by educators and teachers. You can download the PDF files with ready-to-use lesson plans by clicking on the icons or links below.

If you would like to submit your own project, please email us at 1938@lbi.cjh.org.

The 1938Projekt – as a collection of primary sources and micro-historical accounts – is a powerful educational resource to be applied in diverse learning settings. It is particularly suitable for developing additional lesson plans, but also for developing interdisciplinary and project-based assignments that reach beyond the classroom setting.

We encourage you to use the search engine to discover posts based on different thematic perspectives. Each post has been tagged to indicate:
a) the type of primary source at use;
b) major historical events it pertains to;
c) as well as diverse topics it covers, ranging from broad themes—like emigration, displacement, and persecution—to specific circumstances and subjects, like family separation, Jewish community matters, synagogues, or famous people.
d) The tag called “comment” refers to individuals’ commentaries about the political, cultural, and economic situation. This category will help you and your students identify first-person accounts of individuals’ attempts to make sense of turbulent times.

You can use the “on this day” collection of major historical events to contextualize the primary sources.

We are looking forward to your own projects. Please email us at 1938@lbi.cjh.org.


Ready-to-use Ideas & Lesson Plans

1938Projekt Lesson Plans for Middle and High Schools: A Project of the Metro New York Library Council & the Leo Baeck Institute

In 2019, LBI was awarded a METRO Grant for “User Engagement with Digital Collections.” Two educational consultants, Rebecca Krucoff & Natalie Milbrodt, developed three lesson plans for grades 6–12 based on the 1938Projekt. Educators from NY Public schools developed eight additional lesson plans during two professional workshops in early 2020 at the Leo Baeck Institute under the guidance of Rebecca Krucoff & Natalie Milbrodt together with Magdalena Wrobel, LBI’s Project Director, and Renate Evers, LBI’s Director of Collections. All the lesson plans are available for download below on our website as well as a lesson plan template for use by educators.


Please read about the project and see pictures from the workshops in this activity report.


Lesson plan: Introductory & Wrap-up Activities

Materials to help introduce and conclude a study of 1938 including The Historian’s Toolbox, Observation/Inference, Source Analysis Sheet, “What do you Notice?”, Quote Annotation, and Key Terms.

Grades: 6–12

Submitted by: Annette Jaffe, I.S. 187, Brooklyn; Rebecca Krucoff, Educational Consultant, co-founder and director of Urban Memory Project, Inc.; Julia Konrad, Park Slope Collegiate, Brooklyn; Natalie Milbrodt, Educational Consultant, Queens Public Library’s Metadata Services Division and Queens Memory Project


Lesson plan: 1938Projekt Curator

Students act as curators for the 1938Projekt by selecting artifacts from the project website to illustrate how events in 1938 impacted Jewish citizens in Germany and Austria.

Grades: 6–12

Submitted by: Rebecca Krucoff, Educational Consultant, co-founder and director of Urban Memory Project, Inc. & Natalie Milbrodt, Educational Consultant, Queens Public Library’s Metadata Services Division and Queens Memory Project


Lesson plan: Bystanders and the Holocaust

In this lesson, students will consider how individuals, institutions, and governments acted as bystanders during the Holocaust.

Grades: 9–12

Submitted by: Emily Meyers, , MS 223, the Academy of Finance and Technology, Bronx


Lesson plan: Coming of Age in a Time of Chaos

Students will examine the resilience shown by people during the rise of Hitler and the resilience they have shown in their own lives.

Grades: 6–12

Submitted by: Rahsan Robinson, Park Slope Collegiate, Brooklyn


Lesson plan: Help from Abroad

Students will examine personal documents created in 1938 to consider why some people are motivated to make a heroic effort on behalf of others.

Grades: 8–12

Submitted by: Rebecca Krucoff, Educational Consultant, co-founder and director of Urban Memory Project, Inc. & Natalie Milbrodt, Educational Consultant, Queens Public Library’s Metadata Services Division and Queens Memory Project


Lesson plan: Immigration in Fiction and Non-fiction

Students act as literary analysts to compare depictions of attempts for immigration in artifacts from the 1938Projekt and contemporary short fiction.

Grades: 9–12

Submitted by: Nedjra Vickie Manning, MS 223, the Academy of Finance and Technology, Bronx


Lesson plan: Information as Resistance

Students will investigate how Jewish communities used information sharing as a form of resistance to growing anti- Semitism in the late 1930s.

Grades: 8–12 (can be adapted)

Submitted by: Maeve Pfeifer, School in the Square in Washington Heights, Manhattan



Lesson plan: Obstacles to U.S. Immigration: 1938 and Today

This lesson explores the obstacles people face in migrating to the U.S. and compares the process of Jewish immigration in 1938 to the one experienced by Dominican immigrants today.

Grades: 6–9

Submitted by: Dilenny Cisnero, MS 223, the Academy of Finance and Technology, Bronx


Lesson plan: Seeking A Sponsor: How Families Fleeing Nazi Persecution Navigated the American Immigration Act of 1924

Students will read the personal letters of German and Austrian Jews to examine the obstacles to immigration by American federal law.

Grades: 9–12

Submitted by: Julia Konrad, Park Slope Collegiate, Brooklyn


Lesson plan: Two Years in the Life of Adolph Markus

Students examine diary entries of Adolph Markus from 1938 and 1939 to understand the personal impacts the Nazi’s takeover of Austria had on Jewish citizens.

Grades: 6–12

Submitted by: Rebecca Krucoff, Educational Consultant, co-founder and director of Urban Memory Project, Inc. & Natalie Milbrodt, Educational Consultant, Queens Public Library’s Metadata Services Division and Queens Memory Project


Lesson plan: What Happened to Jewish Children during the Holocaust?

Students explore primary source sets about different children during the Holocaust. This lesson culminates in a jigsaw activity in which students share what they learned about a specific child and his or her family’s experience.

Grades: 8–12

Submitted by: Jody Madell, Lyons Community School, Brooklyn

Lesson Plan Template

If you would like to create your own lesson plan, you can use the attached template. The template requires different kinds of fonts. Please download them here for free: Libre FranklinTitillium Web. If you work with MS Office 365 Word, the regular Print Layout View works best, older versions of MS Word can use the Publishing Layout View. If you would like to submit your own lesson plan, please email us at 1938@lbi.cjh.org.


Graphic Design for lesson plans: Carl Edward Petrosyn, graphic design & art direction, Brooklyn

“European Weekly” – Covering the Turbulent Year 1938.

This project can be used as an introduction to the World War II-, as well as the Holocaust-related topics. It relies heavily on students’ ability to analyze and interpret primary sources, and curate them into a monthly newsletter that covers one month of 1938.
It is intended for students grades 7-9. The project is designed for five consecutive classes.
Keywords, core skills: #inquiry-based learning; #visual literacy; #text literacy; #world history; #collaborative learning; creative production; #contextualization; #chronological reasoning ans causation; #world history; #social studies
Submitted by: Adam Steinmetz, Fremont, OH

Évian Conference

This assignment includes three parts: a primary-sources-based discussion, a short research paper exploring Évian Conference, and an individual project for students to design a document-based discussions on their own.
The first part can be used as a standalone assignment in a survey course, such as a modern American, European, or World history class.
It can also be combined with the second and third parts for a more in-depth assignment for an advanced survey or upper level history class, including courses on Fascism, Nazi Germany, modern Germany, the Holocaust, Comparative Genocide, and modern Jewish history.
This assignment is intended for undergraduate students.
Submitted by: Amy Carney PhD, Penn State Behrend

Exploring Microhistories to Understand Persecution and Displacement

This activity can be used as: a) an introduction to and contextualization of the situation of Jews in Germany before the Holocaust; b) as a context for studying refugees, displacement, and migrations, using example of German-speaking Jews in 1930s; c) as an introductory exercise to explore a) primary and secondary sources, their potentials and limitations, and b) microhistory and its role in studying crucial historical phenomena.
It is intended for students grade 10 and up but can be modified accordingly.
Keywords, core skills: #media literacy; #text literacy; #visual literacy; #close reading; #critical thinking; #contextualizing; #interpreting evidence; #inquiry-based learning
#world history; #world migration; #Holocaust; #civics
Submitted by: LBI


This set of four handouts in English and German was created in cooperation with the Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe based on workshops with members from the Junge Jury of the Margot Friedländer Award. Funded by Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions as part of the federal programme Demokratie leben

Download Handouts (.zip file 12MB)

Jews in Germany in 1938.

This 4-6 lessons unit can be used to contextualize political, cultural, and economic situation of Jews in Germany directly before and in 1938.
It is intended for students grades 8-11.
Keywords and core skills: #world history; #Holocaust studies; #civics; Jewish history; #visual literacy; #close reading; #critical thinking; #chronological reasoning and causation; #exploration of different perspectives; #media literacy; #inquiry-based learning

Submitted by: Yoni Kadden, Boston, MA


Cooperating Partners and Content Contributors

Firmenhistorisches Archiv Allianz Deutschland AG

The Corporate Archive of Allianz Deutschland AG

Auswärtiges Amt

The Federal Foreign Office is the foreign ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany, a federal agency responsible for both the country's foreign policy and its relationship with the European Union. It is a cabinet-level ministry.

Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend — „Demokratie Leben!“

„Live Democracy!“ is a federal program launched by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It supports many initiatives, associations and committed citizens who are actively working towards their aim of a diverse, non-violent and democratic society.

Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung

The Federal Agency for Civic Education is a federal public authority providing citizenship education and information on political issues for all people in Germany.

Deutsches Historisches Museum

The German Historical Museum is Germany’s national historical museum. Located in Berlin’s historic district of Mitte, it sees itself as a place of active communication and discussion of history.

Stiftung Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft

In remembrance of the victims of National Socialist injustice, the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future works to promote human rights and understanding between peoples. It also upholds its commitment to the survivors. The Foundation is thus an expression of the continuing political and moral responsibility of the state, industry and society for the wrongs committed in the name of National Socialism.

Archiv der sozialen Demokratie der Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung is the party foundation of the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD), which maintains a "Social Democracy Archive".

Further Forward Foundation

The further Forward Foundation is a private foundation in Harvard, Massachusetts.

Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand

The German Resistance Memorial Center is a site of remembrance, political studies, active learning, documentation, and research. An extensive permanent exhibition, a series of temporary special exhibitions, events, and a range of publications document and illustrate resistance to National Socialism.

Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden Hamburg

The Institute for the History of the German Jews (Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, IGdJ) was established in 1966 as the first research institution dedicated entirely to German-Jewish history. A foundation constituted under civil law, the institute is publicly administered by the City of Hamburg.

Israel Jacobson Netzwerk für jüdische Kultur und Geschichte e.V.

The Israel Jacobson Network for Jewish Culture and History works to preserve and promote authentic sites of Jewish history and culture in the region of Lower Saxony surrounding Braunschweig.

Jüdisches Museum Berlin

Since opening its doors in 2001, the Jewish Museums Berlin has joined the ranks of Europe’s leading museums. Its exhibitions and permanent collection, educational activities, and diverse program of events make the museum a vibrant center of reflection on Jewish history and culture as well as about migration and diversity in Germany.

Jüdisches Museum Wien

The Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna is a place of encounter, confrontation, and understanding, which seeks to raise awareness of Jewish history, religion, and culture.

Metropolitan New York Library Council

Where New York’s libraries and archives come together to learn, share ideas, and collaborate.

Schwarzkopf Stiftung Junges Europa

The non-partisan Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe was founded by Pauline Schwarzkopf in 1971 in Hamburg. The foundation´s mission is to empower young people from all backgrounds to be active European citizens who contribute to a pluralistic, democratic society through their engagement and opinions, leading to mutual understanding, solidarity and peaceful collaboration across Europe.

Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin - Centrum Judaicum

The New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum Foundation was founded in July 1988. Its mission was to “rebuild the New Synagogue in the Oranienburger Straße in Berlin for present and future generations and create a center for preserving and fostering Jewish culture.”

Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main/Digitale Sammlungen Judaica

The University Library Frankfurt am Main owns the largest collection of Hebraica and Judaica in the Federal Republic of Germany and is one of the world's great Judaica library collections. It was founded at the end of the 19th century through generous donations of Frankfurt Jewish philanthropists.

Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland

The Central Council of Jews in Germany is an umbrella organization for 23 regional associations and 105 Jewish Communities with about 100,000 members, and it works to represent their political and social interests. The Council is the discussion partner for the Federal government and the governments of the Bundesländer on all matters that affect Germany's Jewish community.