Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader: Holocaust, Justice, and Guilt in Literature

Students in this unit analyze the novel The Reader for its standpoints on human rights and the concept of coming to terms with the past. They reflect on the concept of guilt and justice after human rights violations/crimes against humanity and relate the German past to a more personal present.

Lesson Plan

The Bystanders

This lesson plan wishes to facilitate participants to become aware of the role of bystanders during critical times of history, and explore the circumstances that encourage or discourage bystanders’ active participation or passivity. It specifically draws on an interview with Albertos Beraha, a Jewish man living in Greece, as he discusses his history, including his experiences during WWII.