8. – 10. class and high school
The education plans presented below are for pupils in junior and senior high school. They are adjusted to fit the school authorities’ teaching goals and the requirements of the visiting pupils.
Plan 1: From the Shtetls to Christiania – Norwegian-Jewish History
- When did the first Jews come to Norway and where did they come from?
- Where did they settle?
- Which languages did they speak?
The history of Jews in Norway is short but eventful. After having been denied access to the country for centuries, the first Jews were allowed to settle down here in 1851. The first immigrants came from Sweden, Denmark, and Germany and settled down in the cities and towns. In the late 1800s more and more arrived from Eastern Europe, and eventually there were Jews living in every county.
Congregational and organizational participation quickly developed. Synagogues were built both in Oslo and Trondheim, and Jewish Norwegians took an active part in sports, cultural life and community affairs. Integration had come a long way when the disaster struck in 1940.
The German occupation of Norway immediately led to many discriminating anti-Jewish measures, and, from 1942, to the deportation and annihilation of more than one third of the Norwegian-Jewish population.
This tragedy marked Jewish life after the Second World War. While the Jewish society had to rebuild its institutions, lost friends and family members were a constant reminder of what had been lost. In spite of this trauma, the Norwegian-Jewish community established itself as an important national minority, taking an active part in Norwegian culture and society.
The education plan “From the Shtetl to Christiania” gives an introduction to the history of the Jews from a Jewish perspective. Assisted by old pictures, films and artifacts the pupils will make the acquaintance of individuals and their fate in an absorbing and interesting way.
Plan 2: Flight – the Road to Safety
- How many Jews escaped during the Second World War?
- What was their escape route?
- What was Carl Fredriksen’s Transport?
43 million people are refugees today. War, natural disasters and persecutions are causes that force people to leave their homes. Norway is one of the countries now receiving refugees, but 70 years ago the situation was different. The education plan The Escape – the Road to Safety tells about a time when harassment and persecution by the German occupation authorities led to 1100 Jews having to flee from their homes, their social networks and their lives in Norway to reach safety in Sweden.
The Museum’s unique collection of pictures and artifacts are used to tell this dramatic history. The education plan will contribute to promote knowledge and reflection about minority experience and our society both past and present.