History KS3 / GCSE: What does Rudolph Höss' evidence tell us about Auschwitz?

Dan Snow introduces a report about the role of Rudolph Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz, in the Holocaust.

Höss wrote detailed notes on his role at Auschwitz while he was awaiting trial.

This report looks at his testimony and his lack of remorse for his role in the Holocaust.

He lived with his family near to Auschwitz, and claimed his only regret was not spending more time with his family.

Höss was sentenced to death after a three-week trial.

This short film is from the BBC series, World War Two with Dan Snow.

This short film contains scenes which viewers may find upsetting. The films are intended for classroom use but teacher review is recommended prior to watching with your pupils. You know best the limit of your pupils, and BBC Teach does not accept any responsibility for pupil distress.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 3

Students could be asked to describe what they think of Höss' testimony, what they think of his lack of remorse and the way he speaks about his role in the Holocaust.

There could also be a discussion about the evidence from Stanislaw Hantz- how did he feel about Höss' execution? Who else should be held accountable for the events at Auschwitz?

Key Stage 4

Students could use this short film as part of a study on responsibility for the Holocaust.

Students could be asked to discuss all of the different groups and individuals who were involved in allowing the Holocaust to happen.

This could be used as part of a debate on the ‘functionalism versus structuralism’ debate about the Holocaust.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching KS3 and KS4/GCSE history in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 history in Scotland.

More from World War Two with Dan Snow:

What were conditions like at Auschwitz?
video
How did Auschwitz expand?
video
How did the use of gas chambers develop in the Holocaust?
video
What happened in the gas chambers at Auschwitz?
video
How did a pregnant woman survive the Holocaust?
video