You have been transported back to Germany in the summer of 1939. Since Hitler and the Nazis have come to power, they have revolutionized German society in ways that many find popular and inspiring, while others find it horrifying. Your task today will be to “interview” German citizens and ask them how they perceived or responded to the events and changes taking place between Jan 1933 (Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor) and August 1939 (just before World War II).
Using the handout provided in class, read the links below and answer the questions in the first person, as if you were living in that time period. Keep in mind, you don’t know what is going to happen to Germany, that there will be another world war, or what will take place in the Holocaust. You are an ordinary German, and you will answer from one of the following perspectives (depending on the questions provided in the handout):
• A member of the Social Democrats (a political party that opposed the Nazis in the Reichstag)
• A high-ranking Nazi Party official
• A German teenager of Aryan descent
• A German citizen of Jewish descent
If you did not receive on in class, download the Assignment HERE.
Read through each of the links and answer the questions on the handout.
Social Democrat response links:
The Enabling Act - http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/enabling.htm
New York Times Article, Aug 1934 - http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0819.html
Nazi Party Official response links:
Gestapo in the Nazi State - http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/gestapo.htm
German Police and the Nazi State - http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/police.html
Germany teenager of Aryan descent response links:
Hitler Youth (if the videos don’t work for you) - http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/hitleryouth/hj-prelude.htm
German citizen of Jewish descent response links:
Background to Nazi Anti-Semitism - http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007167
The Nuremberg Laws (1935) - http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/archives/45819/docs/45819-Translation-Blood_and_Honor.pdf
Kristallnacht - http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-knacht.htm
Ordinary Germans, Extraordinary Times
How did Hitler and the Nazis Revolutionize Germany, and why did ordinary Germans support Hitler’s Dictatorship?