Joan Upell
Literature, History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Middle School
Anne Frank, Concentration Camps, Crimes Against Humanity, Final Solution, Nazi, Otto Frank, anne-frank
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Media Formats:
Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards (2)

Auschwitz-Birkenau and Anne Frank's Father

Auschwitz-Birkenau and Anne Frank's Father


The German Nazis were responsible for the systematic killing of millions of Jews.  Hitler called it “The Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.”  There were concentration camps set up throughout German controlled territories.  This project will focus on the largest and most notorious camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, located in German-controlled Poland.


Anne Frank and her family were discovered and arrested in August 1944. In September 1944 they were sent from the Westerbork Camp in the Netherlands to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived and was liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau in January 1945. 


Introductory warm-up activity.

Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was one of the most notorious Nazi death camps of World War II.  Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived and was liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau in January 1945. This drone footage provides an aerial view of the camp.  Notice the enormity of the camp and how the Nazis set up the footprint.



Read or watch the resources to learn about this concept, then do the practice activity.


Read the article, “Auschwitz-Birkenau: History & Overview,” from The Jewish Virtual Library and then "Otto Frank" from the Anne Frank House. As you are reading about the camp and the events that happened, create an outline to help you remember the important facts from the reading.

Thousands of people were incarcerated and killed at Auschwitz, yet there were also survivors.  The video One Day in Auschwitz gives insight into a day in the life of a Jew in Auschwitz.  As you are watching the life of this survivor, take notes to compare and contrast the events leading them to the camp with those that led Otto Frank to the camp.

One of the most iconic images still standing from Auschwitz is the cast iron gate at the entrance with the words “Work Sets You Free.”  As you complete the virtual tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, make sure to check out the “read more” tabs to get a clear understanding of what you are seeing.  Create an outline of the events leading to incarceration at Auschwitz.



Discuss your ideas / opinions / understandings.

Auschwitz was one of many concentration camps created by the Nazis during WW II.  Create a logical argument for why the Jews “went along with it.” How were the SS soldiers able to control the Jewish people during that time?  In your explanation, use details about the sequence of events that took place.


Now it is time to self check how much you have learned about this topic.  If you do not know as much as you thought, go back to the “Explore” section of this project and reread, rewatch, or redo the activities listed.  See your teacher if you have questions.

Click here to take the quiz online. You do not have to log into the quiz site in order to take this quiz. If a window pops up asking you to sign up for the quiz site, just close the sign-up window and start your quiz.


This is a task or project where you can show what you know.

Otto Frank and Kitty Hart Moxon were just two of the survivors of the infamous concentration camps.  There are a number of other stories out there, detailing the events that led to their incarceration.  Choose a survivor and using the rubric as your guide, create an interactive timeline of events providing specific events that led to the camp.  Use this link to access a list of timeline software available.  You can choose one of these to use for your project, or if you have another favorite you can use it!


Complete this wrap-up activity where you reflect on your learning.

Reflecting on the information provided in this seminar, did the human element make the information easier to learn?  Did following the life of a specific survivor provide a better understanding of what the Jewish people went through?  Did you connect to the material better focusing on a specific individual?