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Conducting Research: A Student Guide

Although the subject matter can be difficult, the Holocaust and other genocides are interesting topics to research. There are many sources of materials to consider, including primary sources, videography and memoirs.

When using the Internet to conduct research on these topics, keep in mind that many Web sites are not factual in nature. In particular, there are many Holocaust denial Web sites that, at first glance, seem to provide appropriate and authentic information, especially with their use of historical photographs. If you are unsure about a Web site, ask your teacher or speak with a librarian about the information you have found before using it in a research product (paper, video, etc.).

Holocaust Museum Houston’s own Web site contains many textual resources to answer student questions.

Getting Started: Some Holocaust Resources
An excellent resource that overviews the history of the Holocaust and is well annotated for locating additional resources is Doris Bergen’s book “War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust.”

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum also has an online encyclopedia that may be useful.

The following are additional resources you may consider using:

  • Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt’s “Holocaust: A History”;
  • Marion A. Kaplan’s “Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany”;
  • Eric A. Johnson and Karl-Heinz Reuband’s “What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany”; and
  • Donald McKale’s “Hitler’s Shadow War: The Holocaust and World War II.”

You might also consider reading the published work of at least one survivor of the Holocaust, such as Elie Wiesel’s “Night,” Gerda Weissmann Klein’s “All But My Life,” or Primo Levi’s “Survival in Auschwitz.”

Getting Started: Some Genocide Resources
An excellent resource that contains essays that overview the history of specific genocides and provides some eyewitness accounts is “Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts,” edited by Samuel Totten, William S. Parsons and Israel W. Charny. Each essay has a list of references to further resources.

Holocaust Museum Houston also presents background information about genocides in the 20th and 2st centuries under the "Resources" tab on its Web site.

The following are additional resources you may consider using:

  • Samantha Power’s “A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide”;
  • Helmut Walser Smith’s “The Holocaust and Other Genocides: History, Representation, Ethics”;
  • Adam Jones’s “Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction”; and
  • Ben Kiernan’s “Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur.”

Conducting Research at Holocaust Museum Houston
The Laurie and Milton Boniuk Resource Center and Library houses the collections of Holocaust Museum Houston. The collections are divided into three separate areas: the circulating library, the archives and the Oral History Project.
All of these collections complement each other to give as complete a picture of the Holocaust and the perpetrators, survivors and victims of the Nazi regime. The library, with more than 6,000 volumes, is separated into its own distinct units. These include a reference section, rare books collection, juvenile literature and an audio-visual collection, as well as the general collections of fiction and non-fiction. While the library is mostly non-circulating, anyone may visit or use the library’s resources in-house for research and general education.

Questions about using the library should be directed to library@hmh.org.

Often those conducting research wish to interview a survivor of the Holocaust. Our survivors no longer do individual, one-on-one student interviews.

For assistance in using survivor eyewitness testimony in a research project, visit the “Using Survivors Testimony” page on the Museum Web site.

If You Believe
If you believe…
That a systematic destruction of a people should never happen…

If you believe…
That too many of our children are immersed in a culture of violence and intolerance…

If you believe…
That education is unique in its ability to transform ignorance into respect for those who are different…

If you believe…
That prejudice and hatred can be overcome…

If you believe…then act!
Become a member of Holocaust Museum Houston.

Docent-led tours can be scheduled for schools and groups of 10 or more. Tours are available in Spanish, English and French. To arrange a docent-led tour, please call Visitor Services at 713-942-8000, ext. 302 or submit the form below.

Guided tours are available for all visitors on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

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