Armin T. Wegner: A Social-Justice Activist on Behalf of Armenians and Jews
Upstanders during the Armenian Genocide
Background for Teachers
This lesson focuses on the concepts of social justice, upstanders, and advocacy. It begins with a contemporary discussion, dips into one man’s historical activism, and ends with students writing advocacy letters about issues that interest them. The historical dimension takes the German soldier and medic Armin T. Wegner (1886–1978) as a case study of advocacy. He was a witness to the persecution of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and of Jews in Nazi Germany. Wegner voiced his concerns in letters to a US president and to Adolf Hitler. During and after his lifetime, he has been celebrated as a heroic and selfless activist.