Why do some people, and some nations, choose to help victims of persecution, while others simply look on? The Children of Willesden Lane contains examples of both “upstanders”—those who choose to help, often at risk to themselves—and “bystanders”—those who choose not to get involved. Teachers can use these concepts to help students think carefully about both the choices made in history and their own choices today.
In the video, Nancy Parrish explores the concepts of upstanders and bystanders with her eighth-grade history students. The class has studied American history, including slavery and the Great Depression, as well as antisemitism and other factors that led to World War II.
Nancy has students define “upstander” and “bystander” and apply these terms to people in The Children of Willesden Lane. (See page 29 of the curriculum guide for a related activity.)