Those People

Holocaust Lessons for a Bully Free World

This is a Holocaust program that transforms this frequently inaccessible topic into a relevant and immediate experience for audiences of all ages. Two performers, embodying a variety of roles – director, bullies, rescuers, and Hitler youth – invite their audiences, through rap and step dance, to participate in join-in re-enactments as perpetrators, victims and rescuers. The arc of the presentation begins with references to everyday newspapers – from the Daily News to Der Stürmer – and demands its audience examine racial and religious hatred: Bullying – both historical and contemporary – and ends with empathetic examples of empowerment through tolerance and love.

The audience is allowed to examine socially relevant real-life racist situations – both as they occur in present day office and school settings, and as they occurred in Germany in 1937-38. Historical re-enactments highlighting the program include the gentile rescue of Odette Meyers; the work of Sister Donata of Milan, Italy who created an underground railroad through the country's monasteries, convents and schools to move endangered people into neutral Switzerland; and the hiding of Anne Frank and her family. A lively sound track and the art of quick-change sets the scene and keeps the audience engaged in this highly volatile and significantly current topic. 

Curriculum/Program Objectives

This Program Answers the following Core Curriculum Standards
New Jersey Visual and Performing Arts 1.1
Language Arts 3.4
Social Studies 6.4
Connecticut Theatre
    6 Connections
Social Studies
    1 Historical Thinking
    2 Local United States and World History
    6 Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens
New York Theatre
    3 Analyzing and Responding
Social Studies
    2 World History and its Relevance
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is prejudice against or hostility towards Jews, often rooted in hatred of their ethnic background, culture, or religion. In its extreme form, it “attributes to the Jews an exceptional position among all other civilizations, defames them as an inferior group and denies their being part of the nation[s]” in which they reside.
was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen, near Celle. There were no gas chambers in Bergen-Belsen, since the mass executions took place in the camps further east. Nevertheless, an estimated 50,000 Jews, Czechs, Poles, anti-Nazi Christians, homosexuals, and Roma and Sinti (Gypsies) died in the camp. Among them were Anne Frank (who died of typhus) and her sister Margot, who died there in March 1945. The average life expectancy of an inmate was nine months.
is the German name for the Polish Brzezinka, known as the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp during the Second World War.
Madame Marie Chotel and Monsieur Henri
were a French couple living in Paris in 1942. They saved many Jews. Their most famous rescue was that of seven-year-old Odette Meyers. Madame Marie, a hotel concierge, hid Odette and her mother in the hotel broom closet during a Nazi siege on July 16, 1942 and Monsieur Henri transported her to the safety of a French village. That day 13,000 Jews were arrested and 4,051 children were sent to be killed in the gas chambers at Birkenau. You can read their story in The Courage to Care.
Concentration camps or labor camps,
were where interned inmates had to do hard physical labor under inhumane conditions and cruel treatment.
Sister Donata
was a Roman Catholic nun who cared for hundreds of Jews at the Instituto Palazzolo in Milan and helped them cross the border into Switzerland via an extensive network of convents.
Extermination camps
were camps built during World War II to systematically kill millions of, primarily Jewish, victims.
Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank
(June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main – early March 1945 in Bergen-Belsen) is one of the most renowned and most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her diary, through the efforts of her father, Otto Frank, the only survivor of the family, has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.
Miep Gies
(February 15, 1909 – January 11, 2010) She, her husband Jan, and their colleagues – Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman, and Bep Voskuijl – were employees at Opekta, a business owned by Otto Frank that distributed goods used in making jellies and jams. Opekta is where they hid Anne Frank and her family, the van Pels, and Mr. Pfeffer from the Nazis during World War II. She discovered and preserved Anne Frank's diary after the Franks were arrested.
is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.
(contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei: “Secret State Police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning in April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police (Chef der Deutschen Polizei).
Adolf Hitler
(April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (commonly known as the Nazi Party). He was the totalitarian leader of Germany from 1933 to 1945.
is the term generally used to describe the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II, a program of systematic state-sponsored extermination by Nazi Germany. [Some scholars maintain that the definition of the Holocaust should also include the Nazis' systematic murder of millions of people in other groups, including ethnic Poles, Romani, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other political and religious opponents. By this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims would be between 11 million and 17 million people.]
also known as Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, Crystal Night and the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom against Jews throughout Germany and parts of Austria on November 9-10, 1938. Jewish homes, along with 8,000 Jewish shops, were ransacked in numerous German cities, towns and villages, as civilians and SS storm troopers destroyed buildings with sledgehammers, leaving the streets covered in smashed windows - the origin of the name “Night of Broken Glass”. Jews were beaten to death; 30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps; and 1,668 synagogues were ransacked with 267 set on fire.
Nazi Party
The National Socialist German Workers Party was a political party lead by Adolf Hitler. The Nazi forces engaged in numerous violent acts before and during World War II, including the systematic murder of as many as 17 million civilians, an estimated six million of whom were Jews targeted in a genocide known as the Holocaust.
is a prejudgment, i.e. a preconceived belief, opinion, or judgment made without ascertaining the facts of a case. The word prejudice is most commonly used to refer to a preconceived judgment toward a group of people or a single person because of race.
is the belief that a certain race or races portray undesirable characteristics. In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or get preferential treatment.
Der Stürmer
(literally, "The Stormer", or more accurately, "The Attacker") was a weekly Nazi newspaper published by Julius Streicher from 1923 to the end of World War II in 1945. It was a significant part of Nazi propaganda as it published horrible pictures and lies about Jews.
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Questions for Discussion and Classroom Activities

  1. Think of the freedom that the following rights allow you and your family; then think of the ways you and your family would be affected if these rights were revoked. Remember that if they were revoked, this would mean giving up things you already have. Rank these independently first.
  2.     Rank these rights from 1 to 5 – 1 being MOST important to you.

        The right to...
         _____ own or use a public telephone
         _____ date/marry whomever you choose
         _____ own a radio, CD player, Nintendo...
         _____ own a pet
         _____ leave your house whenever you choose
        (You would still be able to leave the house, but there would be strict limitations on when you could go out.)
  3. Discuss your decisions and work to come to a consensus to re-rank the rights as a group. Be ready to share the individual and group responses and support with reasons.
  4. Use an overhead with time line of what happened to the Jewish people's rights during Hitler's reign.
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Greene, Joshua and Kumar, Shiva. Witness: Voices from the Holocaust. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Lee, Carol Ann. Anne Frank and the Children of the Holocaust. New York: Puffin Books, 2008.

Prose, Francine. Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife. New York: Harper Collins, 2009.

Rittner, Carol and Myers, Sondra. The Courage to Care: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. New York: New York University Press, 1986.

Read more about Sister Donata online @

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What they say about...Those People

“I was so impressed by this program. Its refreshing approach allowed my students not only to come to grips with the evils of the Holocaust, but also its relevance. During the discussion that followed it was clear that it had inspired them to make the world a better place.” - Deborah Roberts, Director, Palisades Youth Theater

“A compelling program and an impressive achievement!” - Rabbi Steve Golden, Rabbi in Residence JCC on the Palisades

“I can't thank Geraldine, Anne and Keith enough for allowing us to preview Those People. Weeks later my kids were still talking about this program.” - Ms. Denise Lute, Director Lab School Drama Club

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Artists' Information

Anne PasqualeAnne Pasquale (actress & playwright) is presently a member of The Actors Studio. She trained at LAMDA and the New York School of the Arts. She has appeared on TV in: As The World Turns and Search for Tomorrow. In Great Britain she performed a range of roles from Viola in Twelfth Night to Sarah Goddard, a turn of the century Rhode Island feminist. Some of her New York stage credits include: The New Dramatist's Three Sisters, Lincoln Center’s A View from the Bridge, Theatre of the Open Eye’s Birdbath, The 78th Street Theatre Lab’s Ruffian on the Stair, and Paradise Lost at The Actors Studio. In addition, Ms. Pasquale creates and tours her repertoire of Living History Programs for audiences of all ages in venues along the East Coast. Recent appearances include: Nellie at The NHHC Chautauqua, Liberty Belles at The Yale University Museum and Deborah Sampson at The John Jay Homestead.

Geraldine BaronGeraldine Baron is a member of The Actors Studio. She was trained as an actress and teacher by Lee Strasberg, spent 14 years teaching with him and taught his Master Class upon his death. Her acting credits include Broadway, film, television, regional theatre, and variety. She has coached and taught actors internationally for over 30 years, and has trained award winning theatrical and cinematic actors and directors whose works have been represented at the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Festival, among others. She has taught at UCLA, NYU, The Actors Studio (Hollywood & NY), the Lee Strasberg Institute (Hollywood & NY), and in many theatrical centers throughout North America and Europe. In addition, she trained all the actors for George Tabori’s famed production of Nathan the Wise at the Residenz Theater in Munich. She has worked with a number of renowned directors, including: Peter Bogdonovich, Martha Coolidge, Ivan Passer, Dennis Hopper, Elia Kazan, James Ivory, Henry Jaglom, Arthur Penn, Orson Welles, Anthony Drazen, Theo Angelopoulos, and Valario Binasco. She was a casting director for Francis Ford Coppola at his American Zoetrope Studios. Ms. Baron is the founder and artistic director of Commonwealth Theater, a group dedicated to social consciousness through art.

Keith HerronKeith Herron ( grew up following his parents all around the world. He has appeared in more than three dozen films, television shows, and commercials, and has performed on stage with the NY International Fringe Festival, Equity Library Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Dudley Riggs, Children’s Theatre Company, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, and the Minnesota Shakespeare Company. He is a member of John Strasberg’s Accidental Repertory Theater (ART) in New York City. He was Tom/Tennessee in ART’s Tennessee Williams, the Writer and His World, Krogstad in A Doll’s House, and premiered his solo show It’s My Divorce – Y’all Come! during their inaugural season. He is currently awaiting the release of three feature films and can be seen in a spot for The Onion:

Original concept by Anne Pasquale. Written by Anne Pasquale and Geraldine Baron. Step Dance Choreography by Rev. Melvin Miller. Sound Design by Clark Kee.

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History of the Holocaust - Time Line

1933 - Nazi party takes power in Germany; Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor. Nazis “temporarily” suspend civil liberties, set up the first concentration camp at Dachau, and inter 200 Communists; books with ideas considered dangerous to Nazi beliefs are burned.

1934 - Hitler becomes “Fuhrer” or “Leader of Germany”; Jewish newspapers can no longer be sold in the streets.

1935 - Jews are deprived of their citizenship and other basic rights; Nazis intensify the persecution of political people that don’t agree with Hitler’s philosophy.

1936 - Nazis boycott Jewish-owned businesses; the Olympics are held in Germany; signs barring Jews are removed until the event is over; Jews no longer have the right to vote.

1938 - German troops annex (take over) Austria; on Kristallnacht Nazis terrorize Jews throughout Germany and Austria – 30,000 Jews are arrested; Jews must carry ID cards; Jewish passports are marked with a “J”; Jews can no longer head businesses, attend plays, etc.; all Jewish children are moved to Jewish schools; Jewish businesses are shut down; Jews must sell businesses and hand over securities and jewels; Jews must hand over drivers' licenses and car registrations; Jews must be in certain places at certain times.

1939 - Germany takes over Czechoslovakia and invades Poland; World War II begins: Britain and France declare war on Germany; Hitler orders that Jews must follow curfews; Jews must turn in radios; Jews must wear yellow stars of David.

1940 - Nazis begin deporting German Jews to Poland; Jews are forced into ghettos; Nazis begin the first mass murder of Jews in Poland; Jews are put into concentration camps.

1941 - Germany attacks the Soviet Union; Jews throughout Western Europe are forced into ghettos; Jews may not leave houses without permission; Jews may not use public telephones; United States declares war Germany.

1942 - Nazi officials disclose their plan to kill all European Jews to government officials; Jews are forbidden to: subscribe to newspapers; keep pets; keep electrical equipment, including typewriters; own bicycles; buy meat, eggs, or milk; use public transportation; attend school.

1943 - As of February, about 80-85 percent of the Jews who would die in the Holocaust have already been murdered.

1944 - Hitler takes over Hungary and begins deporting 12,000 Hungarian Jews each day to Auschwitz where they are murdered.

1945 - Hitler is defeated and World War II ends; the Holocaust is over and the death camps are emptied; many survivors are placed in displaced persons facilities.

1946 - An International Military Tribunal (Judicial assembly) is created by Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union; in Nuremberg, Nazi leaders are tried for war crimes by the Judicial assembly.

1947 - The United Nations establishes a Jewish homeland in British-controlled Palestine, which becomes the State of Israel in 1948.

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