Great intro for curious questioners...but sad and not for everyone this age!
My son's 4th grade teacher started a unit on historical fiction recently which includes the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and Holocaust content. Not sure how detailed the information is that they have been giving out, but we have not discussed the Holocaust with our child yet and don't watch network TV, so he has not seen or heard anything about Nazis or WWII in particular at home other than his great-grandfather was a POW. Unfortunately, we got a report that some kids were making the Nazi salute at school so I knew it was time to talk to him about that gesture and what it means, why it is so offensive, and is not appropriate to joke about. I wasn't sure how to broach the topic with him and not being Jewish or religious at all, didn't know if I could do the topic justice.
I researched this movie and finding it rated PG-13 decided it was a good one to help him understand without it being too graphic. I will admit I should've previewed it first as the end is quite shocking and induced tears for me (and my son, too), but I think it drove home the point that like using the N-word, a Nazi salute is unconscionable. We spent at least 30 minutes after watching to process what we'd seen and set the ground rules for behavior expectations. I told my son that not only is it his responsibility not to engage in conduct that he now knows is objectionable, hurtful, and incredibly offensive, it is also his responsibility to inform his friends of what he knows when he sees them doing so. The movie made it easy to see how such ideas were allowed to spread through indoctrination of children at a very young age and that standing by and letting it happen is as bad as engaging in it yourself. It's important for kids to get some context along with whatever their school is dispensing. It's not necessarily the teacher's job to fully explain to your child the horrors of the Holocaust considering it is quite delicate territory and involves controversial topics such as murder, politics, race, and religion. I recommend this movie, but preview it, watch with your kids, and be prepared to explain things or answer questions they may have afterward.