Every Photo tells a Story: A Project about Franziska Smolka

When engaging students with history in general, and with the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust in particular, teachers should not limit themselves to how European Jews died during the Holocaust, but should also concentrate on how they lived.

In this lesson plan, Ulrike Lackner uses Centropa’s approach and concentrates on the story of Franziska Smolka. First, she show the video 10 Years in 4 minutes (centropa.org) to illustrate what Centropa is and how Centropa works.

For this lesson, several of Franzika Smolka’s family photos are used. Stimulated by those photos, the students should think about what stories these pictures tell, bring photos of there own families, and compare them, to see how similar family photos often are. Then they should tell their own stories through their family photos. Using other photos from Franziska Smolka family, the students should try to reconstruct the history of their hometown, Graz, and visit the places where Franziska Smolka’s family history took place.