Curriculum Connections The Resilience of Anti-Semitism: The Lies of The Protocols of The Elders of Zion In This Edition

In This Edition

Since its contrivance at the turn of the twentieth century by the Russian secret police, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion has taken root in bigoted and uneducated minds around the world.  The booklet’s twenty-four sections spell out the alleged confidential plans of a Jewish conclave seeking to attain world domination. They represent the most notorious political forgery of modern times. Although thoroughly discredited, the document is still being used to stir up anti-Semitic hatred.

Will Eisner, the celebrated “father of the graphic novel,” was deeply concerned about the resilience of anti-Semitism and the persistence of the conspiracy theory that Jews have a plan to control the world. Applying his talent and creativity to further expose the notorious anti-Semitic treatise as a forgery, Mr. Eisner produced The Plot—a graphic history of the Protocols—with a goal toward educating all, but especially younger generations.

This three-part curricular unit has been prepared as a companion to Will Eisner's The Plot.  It aims to increase student understanding of the history of anti-Semitism and the destructive influence of anti-Semitic stereotypes over time and throughout the world.  The lessons also raise awareness about the tactics used to spread hate propaganda, and provide students with the skills to respond effectively to hate on the Internet and in other arenas.

Parts I and II of the unit are meant to be used in conjunction with the graphic novel.  Prior to viewing the novel, students conduct brief research that sets the social, economic and political context for the creation of The Protocols in the decades leading up to the Russian Revolution.  Students are then guided through an exploration of various sections of The Plot.  Through small group investigation and large group discussion, they learn how The Protocols took hold throughout the world, how it has been discredited and how its message persists today despite being repeatedly denounced.

In Part III of the unit, students define propaganda and investigate the techniques used in The Protocols to disseminate anti-Semitic propaganda throughout the world.  Students then apply this knowledge by examining the rhetoric of current-day hate groups, identifying the propaganda techniques they use and exploring how to respond to hate that they encounter in their lives.

The Anti-Defamation League has developed a traveling exhibit of Will Eisner’s The Plot that tells the story of the infamous forgery that has been used to justify horrific, brutal anti-Semitism up to and including today.  Together, the exhibit and lesson plans included in this edition of Curriculum Connections will help students to resist persistent anti-Semitic myths and respond to misinformation and bigotry of all forms.


The Resilience of Anti-Semitism: The Lies of The Protocols of The Elders of Zion
In This Edition
Lesson Plans
  • Overview of Unit (grades 9-12)
  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III
  • Entire Unit (.pdf format -35 KB - requires Adobe Reader)
Additional Resources
  • Will Eisner’s The Plot
  • ADL’s Traveling Exhibit of The Plot
  • ADL Report on The Protocols
  • Student Reading on The Protocols
  • Further Resources on The Protocols
  • Confronting Anti-Semitic Myths With Facts – A Practical Guide
  • ADL Online Catalog: Resources for Classroom and Community
ADL Programs
  • A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE ® Institute – Anti-Bias Education and Diversity Training
  • Understanding and Addressing Online Bullying
  • The Miller Early Childhood Initiative
  • Holocaust Awareness and Remembrance® Institute
  • Confronting Anti-Semitism
  • Making Diversity Count Online Professional Development Program
  • A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Recommended Multicultural and Anti-Bias Books for Children Grades K-6
  ©2010 Anti-Defamation League