Lessons We Can Learn Today From World War II: Roosje Glaser’s War Story


  • Hans Hooghoff Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development
  • Frans H. Doppen Ohio University


freedom, human dignity, democratic values.


Upholding democratic citizenship is an urgent priority for education systems around the world. There is an urgent need to equip young people with the skills to think, reflect, and act as responsible citizens in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. This article uses a specific context drawn from The Netherlands during World War II. It addresses the dilemmas faced and the choices made by a young woman named Roosje Glaser. Roosje’s story engenders important questions that serve as the foundation for a series of lessons. The lessons challenge students to think critically about choices and dilemmas they may face in their own lives by addressing important issues related to freedom, human dignity, and democratic values. They provide a model for addressing existential dilemmas in a democratic society. The lessons engage students in a vivid interactive storytelling experience through compelling learning opportunities.