Sunday, 27 January, 2013

This is the pupil copy of this activity.  There is also an accompanying guide for teachers available.

You can download a printable verison of this page here.

Scenario 1: The Holocaust (1933 – 1945)

Frank Foley was born in 1884, worked for the Foreign Office and became Head of the British Passport Control Office in Germany.  Foley was in fact Britain’s most senior spy in Berlin.

During his time in Berlin, Foley is known to have saved an estimated 10,000 German Jews after Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1933.  Despite having no diplomatic immunity and being liable to arrest at any time, he bent the rules when stamping passports and issuing visas to allow Jews to escape 'legally' to Britain or Palestine.  This remarkable man also visited internment camps to get Jewish people out, hide them in his home, and helped forge passports – saving tens of thousands of people from the Holocaust in this way.

Read Frank Foley’s story.

What professional roles in the community did the remarkable individuals have who helped rescue people from the Nazi regime?

What were the risks that Frank Foley faced by carrying out these acts?

What personal attributes are required to work in this way?

Are there any other professions that would be able to help people escape the Nazi regime?  What positions might these people have held?

Scenario 2: Nazi Persecution (1933 – 1945)
The Nazis falsely believed that some human beings were superior to others.  They saw themselves as leaders of this superior group and aimed to develop and preserve a pure ‘Aryan’ master race.  They believed that each generation passed physical characteristics down to the next via a person’s blood.  They decided that to create their dream race they would need ‘pure’ blood.  They planned to purify Aryan blood by preventing anything they saw as undesirable from ‘polluting’ it.  They decided that this meant those they called ‘undesirables’ could not be allowed to live normal lives, mix with the rest of the population and have children.

German midwives and doctors were ordered to report any child known to them who was born deaf or blind, with paralysis or with a neurological disorder such as Down’s Syndrome, microcephaly or hydrocephaly. 

Read the case study on the T4 Euthanasia Programme.

How do the actions of the nurses and doctors affect the community as a whole? 

How do you think these highly regarded members of the community were perceived?  If this was happening now, would people still go to them for their professional help even though they may fundamentally disagree with what they were doing?

Are the midwives and doctors as guilty as those who actually imprisoned and killed these people, through their referral or are they innocent and just caught up in an impossible situation?

Scenario 3: Cambodia (1975 – 1979)
Cities were evacuated, factories and schools closed, and currency and private property abolished.  People were moved to a rural collective farm for being deemed too intellectual or able to speak a foreign language.  Religion was banned as were radio sets and music.  People were forbidden and punished for laughing, crying or even saying ‘I love you’.

All political and civil rights were abolished.

In the UK today, every member of every community should be treated equally and fairly, and the Human Rights Act (1998) is in place to ensure that this remains so.  As young people living in the UK in 2013, what human rights do you have that you may take for granted? 

If this Act is complied with – what impact does it have on individuals and communities within society?  

Scenario 4: Rwanda (1994)
People affected by the Rwandan genocide are still having to share their communities with people who harmed them or killed members of their family.  The state is imposing a law that forces everyone to get on – to coexist, forgive and reconcile.

How genuine can enforced reconciliation be?

What is the alternative?

Can people coexist and reconcile without forgiving?

Scenario 5: Bosnia (1992 – 1995)
In the Bosnian municipality of Prijedor, non-Serbs were forced to wear white armbands.  Serbian newspapers, radio and television stations began to publish and broadcast propaganda against the non-Serbs in the city.  In a previously connected community, divisions were being drawn and neighbours were turning against each other.

Propaganda: information, ideas, or rumours deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

Can you think of a modern day example of when propaganda has been used?

In 2013, what other forms of communication are now in existence that weren’t in 1992 – 1995?  What could make propaganda even more dangerous than before – and can you think of when such things have been used in a destructive way?

What impact does or could (if used wrongly) these technologies have on community cohesion?

Scenario 6: Darfur (2003 – Present date)
Around 2.7 million people in Darfur are now displaced –  they have been forced to flee their homes and now live in makeshift refugee camps.  A further two million people rely on international assistance, bringing the total number of civilians affected by the conflict close to five million people. 

The UK welcomes refugees seeking asylum into this country.  After a period of assessment, many have their applications granted and become part of our community.

Discuss how refugees enhance our community.


  • 11-14
  • 14-16