The educational materials created as part of The Greatest Theft in History Educational Program support and enhance teaching about World War II in middle, high school, college, and adult learning settings. Developed by a panel of distinguished educators under the supervision of leading experts, this program deepens our understanding of the Second World War, its root causes, costs, and victories. The war’s events are reframed by shifting the perspective to its effect on our shared art and cultural heritage.
Riveting stories of theft and destruction balance with equally compelling stories of the heroic protection, rescue, and preservation of priceless artworks to comprise a new approach to teaching and learning about World War II.
These stories—and the significant lessons they offer—continue beyond that war and still impact us today. They are essential to forming responsible solutions to past wrongs, addressing future conflicts, averting genocidal cleansings, and tackling persistent threats to the world’s cultural heritage.
As with all teaching about war, educators are reminded to be sensitive to disturbing content. The materials in The Greatest Theft in History Educational Program should be used with forethought, particularly if they are partnered with teaching about the Holocaust or other genocides.
Neither the documentary film “The Rape of Europa” nor the supplemental educational material contain graphically disturbing images, but do present opportunities to introduce students to the complex themes of war and to the emotionally demanding content of World War II and the Holocaust. It is recommended that teachers preview the documentary, the additional footage, and the clips presented in the lesson plans prior to classroom use.