During the Holocaust most people abandoned their Jewish neighbors, turned a blind eye or even participated in the persecution of the Jews. Among them were teachers, who watched as their students were marked, harassed, discriminated against and finally murdered. Only some felt that it was their duty not only to educate and instill values in the classroom, but to live by those ideals, even at the risk of their lives.

Yad Vashem has recognised those teachers as Righteous Among the Nations.

Elisabeth Abegg, a history teacher, taught at a fashionable girls’ school in Berlin. She endeavored to impress her humanistic beliefs, centering on the sanctity of human life, on her students, many of whom came from Jewish homes. However, she soon came into conflict with the newly Nazi-appointed director of the school. Despite her being marked by the authorities as politically unreliable, Abegg would not be deterred from maintaining contact with her Jewish friends and former students. She resolved to do everything in her power to save as many of them as possible. Read about Elisabeth and other non-Jewish teachers who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust in this exhibition, particularly pertinent as a new school year begins.