More than thirty years ago, Facing History and Ourselves classrooms first began examining the case study of the rise of the Nazis and the horror of the Holocaust. Using our resource book Holocaust and Human Behavior as a guide, students explored such topics as conformity, obedience, resistance, propaganda, perpetrators and bystander behavior.
The discussions were rich as students reflected on the range of choices individuals had made during that period in history, and then looked at themselves and the choices they were making in their own lives. But after studying this history, students still had questions—essential ones about justice and judgment: "Who is responsible? Do evil people get punished? What happens to people who do these terrible things? What happens to people who do nothing?"
For decades, Facing History and Ourselves has been looking deeply at these questions, not only as they pertain to the Holocaust, but to other recent histories as well. We've looked at periods marked by genocide or mass violence, and have considered the enormous challenges involved in trying to achieve stability, justice and reconciliation. We refer to such efforts as transitional justice. This website hopes to deepen all of our understandings on transitional justice.