German Jewish Perspective

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for History of the Holocaust


Why didn't the Jews leave?

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Activity Overview


Why didn’t the Jews leave Germany when the Nazis came to power?

In this activity, students will create a spider map that answers the question, “Why didn’t the Jews leave Nazi Germany?” This frequently asked question is less difficult to answer than many might think at first glance. There were very practical reasons why Jews could not leave Nazi-controlled Europe. Understanding these reasons is not only helpful for understanding the time period, it can also be helpful in analyzing other, similar situations in history.

Students will be required to complete some research before creating their spider maps. A great place to start research on this activity is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Why didn’t the Jews Leave Nazi Germany?


  1. Difficult Emigration Bureaucracy

  2. Hope

  3. Hard to Find Safe Havens

  4. Patriotism

  5. Financially Impossible


Extended Activity

For an extended activity, students will create a storyboard that focuses on a specific individual or family who attempted to leave Germany. In addition, students could create a storyboard that focuses on the ship the St. Louis. This ship left Germany in 1939 full of Jewish refugees. It eventually had to return to Europe because no nation in the Americas would take the refugees. A good place to begin research on the St. Louis is here.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard analyzing the reasons the Jews didn't leave Nazi Germany.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the different reasons the Jews did not leave Germany.
  3. In the description boxes, explain the reason.
  4. Create an illustration using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
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