EQ: How does indifference impact your life? How are you indifferent?
How is the definition of indifference developed over the speech?
Prompt students to research this in pairs.
Have pairs report out to the whole group and come to consensus a whole-class ‘definition timeline for indifference.
Why do good people sometimes not help others in a crisis, although they are not indifferent?
Do you agree with Wiesel’s development of the term indifference throughout the speech? Does it explain the behavior of the ‘muselmanner’? The U.S. government’s handling of the St. Louis refugees? Have students explain their thoughts. Students participate in a discussion about Wiesel’s development of the term ‘indifference’ and argue whether or not it truly explains the examples he gave.
Perils of Indifference Rhetorical Devices Notes
How do people start over after a major tragedy?
5 Stages of Grief
We have come to the end of the Holocaust! It seems fitting that since it started with Elie at Auschwitz, it seems fitting to end there.
This video contains some graphic material.
If you were absent:
Farber, Bernie M. “Voyage of the SS St. Louis: Journey toward a better future.” The Toronto Star 27 May 2008. 13 August 2011 http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/431217
“No One Wanted Us – The Tragic Voyage of the SS St. Louis,”: What is a refugee?:
Ask students to draw a distinction between immigrants and refugees, and specifically, what circumstances could cause a person to be a refugee.
After discussion, provide the following definition of a refugee, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 1951 Refugee Convention: A refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country or to return there, for fear of persecution."
1) What lessons can Canada learn from the story of the SS St. Louis in terms of its refugee policies today?
2) There were 937 Jewish people on board the ship who were seeking refuge. Cuba, the US and Canada denied them all the right to land. If there were 100 refugees, do you think the response would have been different? What if there were 100,000? Should the number of refugees affect the way a country responds?
3) At the time, Cuba, the US and Canada were experiencing an economic crisis (mass unemployment). Should this have an impact on a country’s decision to admit or refuse refugees?
4) Do you think there may have been other underlying reasons why the passengers were refused entry? (You may wish to prompt students to look for evidence in the article that Canada’s refusal may have been partially motivated by racial/religious discrimination)