Dominion Teacher Selected to Participate in PBS Documentary


Courtesy of PBS

Dominion teacher Nikki Korsen was selected as one of six teachers to accompany PBS in the documentary “The U.S. and the Holocaust.”

Along with being one of Dominion’s Equity Leads and teaching 9th grade English, Nikki Korsen was one of just six teachers nationwide chosen to take part in writing lesson plans that accompany the themes in the PBS Documentary, “The U.S. and The Holocaust.” 

The three part documentary, which totaled just over six hours, focused on “what America’s role specifically was in the Holocaust,” Korsen shared. The lessons are meant for teachers to use in the classroom to educate their students on the horrors of the Holocaust, using clips from the documentary. Korsen’s lesson plan focused on the hidden symbolism behind the iconic Statue of Liberty. “We might look at the same thing through different eyes based on what our circumstances are,” Korsen said. 

Korsen’s father was a Holocaust survivor, which has inspired her to educate people on the Holocaust and take part in writing the lesson plan. “It’s so important is because it has themes of tolerance, themes of acceptance, [and] it shows what can happen if you actually stand up for something and create change,” Korsen said. Along with educating students and teachers about the Holocaust through summer seminars on human rights, Korsen has produced a short film called “A Journey of Education and Remembrance” that won two regional Emmys. 

One of the documentary filmmakers, Bella Feinstein, also has a personal connection to the film with her grandmother coming from Eastern Europe and experiencing the war. Feinstein was drawn to helping make the documentary because of her family’s connection, and it led her to gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust. “As a young person, it was really meaningful to have a connection to them, and to understand that these moments in history occurred,” Feinstein said.  

Feinstein was working on the documentary during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Looking at this content, thinking about it really deeply as the world around us is also suffering, tremendous loss and kind of chaos. So, the light for me was definitely getting to know the people in the film,” Feinstein said. 

Both Korsen and Feinstein advocate for showing the documentary to students. “Students should be educated on this matter because it’s essential to how we treat one another and our role in democracy,” Feinstein said. Along with the continued education, Korsen is working on an anthology of survivor stories with the other children of survivors.