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Ladder of Prejudice
Transcript of Ladder of Prejudice
Take a few minutes and think about a time when you have been a part of a step on the ladder – whether you were a bystander, a victim, or someone discriminating against someone else.
Keep in mind your group discussions as you choose your experience.
Once you have chosen an experience, write it on your post-it note and place it on the rung of the ladder it belongs on.
While the realities of the Holocaust cannot be compared to everyday experiences of pain, camaraderie, suffering, or even death, we can use our study of the Holocaust to take a closer look at our individual choices and responsibility to our society.
1. List the reasons you think people chose the roles they did during the Holocaust:
2. What lessons can we gain from learning about the Holocaust and the ladder of prejudice?
1. What percentage of people today play the role of bystander when a decision has to be made?
2. Make a list of the kinds of actions, words, problems, that you’ve witnessed in the last few years.
3. Choose one of these. Were you a bystander, perpetrator, or rescuer? If you could change your role, what would you change it to?
With your group, make an educated guess about what roles people chose to take during the Holocaust.
What percentage of people chose to be perpetrators?
What percentage of people chose to be rescuers?
What percentage of people chose to be bystanders?
It is important to understand that all the other individuals were in a position to choose the role they wished to follow in the Holocaust. People chose to be either perpetrators, rescuers, or bystanders.
European Jews, along with other people who were considered “not good enough to live among Hitler’s Aryan people,” were targeted with death during the Holocaust. These people were victims and although innocent, they had no choice regarding their selection to be persecuted.
The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen.
- Albert Einstein
How does the quote relate to your ideas about bystanders and the Ladder of Prejudice? Explain!
Directions: In the space below please use what you know about the Holocaust to create a Ladder of Prejudice. Write examples for each step in the ladder. Make sure to explain how one step leads to another. Be prepared to share.
Take five minutes to discuss what you think your assigned term means, and how your step could lead to the “step above.”
Be prepared to share!
Prejudice: Preconceived opinion not based on reason or experience.
less than 5%
In the study of the Holocaust, scholars have identified four key roles that defined human behavior at this time: victim, perpetrator, bystander, and rescuer.
Fill in the squares based on your own life experience.
LADDER OF PREJUDICE
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
-Pastor Martin Niemoller