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Night WebQuest - Honors English 9


This web quest is designed to help in the reading of the Holocaust novel, Night, by Elie Wiesel. A true story, told from a young boy's (Elie's) point of view, it shows the horrors of concentration camp life during the reign of Nazi Germany. The web quest is not designed to tell you about the book; it should be used as a discovery tool--to discover what happened during that time period, and hopefully, discover something about ourselves as humans. The lessons are arranged chronologically; please do them in that order. On each page, you will see the assignment, how the assignment will be graded, and the links to the information. You should create a new page for each lesson and each lesson should be labeled. Take your time; this is not a subject to rush through. Learn, and share your information with others, so that the events of the past will never happen again! Here are some general Holocaust links to look through.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Museum of Tolerance Multimedia Learning Center

Mapping the Holocaust

The Nizkor Project

The Cybrary of the Holocaust

Lesson 1-Jewish Life

Lesson 1-Jewish Life

In this lesson, you will be exploring information on the life of the Jewish people before the Holocaust. This information will include their religious beliefs, history, and what rights Hitler and the Nazis took away from them. It also includes information on Kristallnacht, the first major sign of trouble for the Jewish people in Germany.

Your job: imagine you are a newspaper reporter, and your assignment is to write a short article featuring information about the lives of the Jewish people before the Holocaust. This article must be at least 2 paragraphs in length. When you are finished, give your article a title and then write a one-paragraph reflection on what you discovered about the lives of the Jewish people. What surprised you? What did you learn?


Judaism 101 Table of Contents (A lot of good info so click around!)

Jewish History 1914-1948

Nuremburg Laws

Jews in Pre-war Germany, 1933


Kristallnacht and the World's Response

Lesson 2-The Ghettos

Lesson 2-The Ghettos

As Nazi Germany took over Europe, they established ghettos in communities to house the Jewish people of that town or region. Most of these ghettos were fenced in with walls or barbed wire and were heavily guarded by Nazi soldiers. Conditions in the ghettos varied, but most ghettos experienced widespread malnutrition and horrible living conditions. The ghettos were created as temporary housing; Jewish people were usually moved into ghettos before being transported to concentration camps.

Your job: Imagine you are a Jewish person who is being moved into a ghetto. Create a mini-diary of your journey; from the time you leave your home to be moved into the ghetto until the end of your first day there. The diary needs to be told in 1st person point of view and must use facts from the URLs listed below. Be sure to list the name of the ghetto and the dates. You need to have a minimum of 3 paragraphs.


The Ghettos of Europe

Archival Ghetto and Camp Photographs

Warsaw Ghetto-Dignity and Defiance

Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto

Lesson 3-Concentration Camps

Lesson 3-Concentration Camps

The camp system in Nazi Germany started out as a way for the Nazis to imprison their political enemies, but it soon turned into something more. Beginning in 1933 with the Nazi's control of the German government, the camp system gradually grew to include camps for labor, experimentation, and the systematic destruction of an entire people, the Jews.

Your job: explore the information about the different camps run by Nazi Germany. Choose one camp to discuss; this could be a concentration camp, a labor sub-camp, or an extermination camp. List 10 new, interesting facts that you discovered about your site. These facts need to be something that most people would not know about the camp. After writing your facts, use them to imagine you are an inmate in that camp. Write at least two paragraphs describing a typical day there, in first person point of view.

Links-- Look at related articles on USHMM pages.

The Camps

Camps-Virtual Reality Movies

Nazi Camp System

Remembering Catastrophe: The Nazi


Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora (Click to get English on the top of the page)




Lesson 4-Medical Experiments

Lesson 4-Medical Experiments

During World War II and the Holocaust, the Nazis and their followers committed many atrocities, one of the most horrible being medical experiments performed on unwilling victims. These medical experiments were carried out for several reasons, including helping the German soldiers survive in harsh conditions, to eliminate handicaps, and to establish the Aryan race, Hitler's master race. Victims came in all shapes, sizes, and ages, but probably the most famous experiments were performed on twins by the notorious Dr. Mengele, the head doctor for Auschwitz.

Your job: investigate some of the medical experiments by Nazis and create a report on one. This needs to be a specific story, maybe of a person or of a particular experiment that you can find lots of information on. This story needs to be at least 3 paragraphs in length. You will also include a conclusion that tells your reaction to what you found. This lesson will have at least 4 paragraphs total. 


Angels of Death

Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death

Twins' Stories (Click on The Education Center,  Mengele Twins, and then Mengele Twin Stories, then choose a person.)

Mengele's Children

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race (Look at the various sections listed to the right on the page.)

Medical Experiments

Lesson 5-Resistance and Liberation

Lesson 5-Resistance and Liberation

One of the most frequent questions people have about the Holocaust is, "Why didn't the Jewish people fight back? Why didn't anyone try to stop the Nazis?" The truth is, there were people, Jews included, who fought against the Nazis and tried to keep others from falling under their control. Eventually, nations across the globe fought and defeated the Nazis, freeing the people who had been imprisoned and persecuted, yet coming to the rescue too late for over 11 million people.

Your job: look at the URLs below and learn about the resisters to the Nazis and how the concentration camps were eventually liberated. Choose 1 story and share your thoughts on it. First, write down the facts of the resistance or liberation, and then explain your reaction. Were you surprised, unbelieving, etc.? This assignment needs to be at least 3 paragraphs in length.



Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust

Heroes & Heroines of the Holocaust


Liberators' Testimonies

Focus on Liberation

Liberation of Nazi Camps

Lesson 6-Survivors

Lesson 6-Survivors 

Once World War II and the Holocaust had ended and the Germans had been defeated, a problem faced many survivors: Where should they go? Many of them had no family who survived the camps, no homes to return to, and no interest to begin again in countries that had seen such hardships. What could they do? Some did decide to return to their homelands and begin again, but many made the decision to leave everything they had known and try to make a new life in a new country. These countries included the United Kingdom, the United States, and the new Jewish nation, Israel.

Your job: read, listen, and watch the stories of the Holocaust survivors listed below. You will not be reporting on anything you learned; this assignment is only about your reaction. You need to write at least 3 paragraphs. Include: your thoughts to the options of the survivors, how they felt making a decision, what your decision would have been, and tell us the names of the survivors you heard about.


Faces & Voices of Holocaust Survivors

Holocaust Personal Histories – (Click on the Related Articles at the bottom.)

Survivor Stories

Survivors of the Shoah Online Testimonies

Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lesson 7-Artifacts

Lesson 7-Artifacts

"Artifact" is defined as "something created by humans usually for a practical purpose especially an object remaining from a particular period" by Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition. There are many such artifacts that survived after World War II and the Holocaust. Many of these items can be seen in museums around the world, but since we cannot travel to all these museums, we will look at these artifacts online through the links below.

Your job: explore the images of some artifacts that still survive from the Holocaust-era. Choose four images. Print these images, explain what they are, and tell why you thought they were important or representative of this time. Be sure to include pictures of artifacts only, not pictures from that time period or of events. An example would be this image of these fence posts that were used around Auschwitz found in the USHMM. Please be sure to tell where each artifact can be found, or if that information is not listed, but sure to credit the source of the image (copyright).


Yad Vashem Artifact Collection (Click on Photos, Artifacts, and Documents) NOTE: Please click around until you find all of the information you need. 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives Online (type the word "artifacts" or "exhibits" into the Search Photos)

You may also type the words of items you would like to see, such as "shoes", "emblem", "hair", or "spoons". There are thousands of artifacts to view, many of them part of the USHMM's main exhibit.

Lesson 8-Music and Art

Lesson 8-Music and Art

During times of change, whether they are good or bad, often people turn towards art and music to help them express their feelings. This happened during the Holocaust as well. Drawings and paintings survive which illustrate ghetto and concentration camp life, even though some of the artists who created these works did not survive Hitler's reign.

Your job: Look at the art created during this time. Listen to the songs. Read the lyrics. Choose one piece of art and one song to discuss. Be sure to include the exact link, the title, copy of the picture/lyrics of the song for each of these. You will need to write your reaction to each of these pieces, having at least 2 paragraphs for each. How does it make you feel? What do you picture/see in your mind? What does it make you think of? What do you think the artist was thinking when she/he created it?


Jan Komski


David Olere Drawings & Paintings

Yad Vashem Art Museum (Click on Art Museum collection)  NOTE: You will need to on MENU on the top right side and look through the different artists' work.

Music of the Holocaust (from USHMM)

Music of the Holocaust

Lesson 9-After the War

Lesson 9-After the War

This lesson deals specifically with Elie Wiesel's life after the war. The events described in Night leave off immediately after Elie's liberation from Buchenwald. We don't see what happens to him after this. It took Elie several years to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, but after he decided to tell about his experiences, his mission in life became clear: "Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe." Elie Wiesel has overcome great obstacles in his life and continues to be a role model for how you should live your life.

Your job: Look through the first three links describing what happened to Elie after his liberation. Browse through the other links and then compare how Elie's life after the war differed from others who were persecuted. You need to have at least 3 paragraphs, and you also need to include how Elie's life can influence you.


Elie Wiesel NOTE: Read the biography and the interview sections.

Elie Wiesel's Nobel Acceptance Speech

Postwar Refugee Crisis

The Aftermath

What happened to the Jews after the Holocaust?

Holocaust Timeline: Aftermath

Displaced Persons

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