Background: Today we are beginning a new unit on World War II. A major focus of the unit will be on the Holocaust. Too often students have the impression that the Holocaust was inevitable (was bound to happen). You should recognize that the Holocaust took place because individuals, groups and nations made decisions to act or not to act. After World War I (WWI), a fragile democracy was set up in Germany called the Weimar Republic. This unstable democracy paved a path for the Nazi Party. However, German people did not have to vote for the Nazis in the important 1932 election. This was a choice made by the German citizens.
Read “The Weimar Republic and the Rise of the Nazi Party”
Be prepared to discuss the following questions. Take notes as necessary.
Do you think that the Nazis’ rise to power was inevitable based on what you read? Be prepared to explain your thinking.
Why do you think the democracy of Germany was so fragile?
Read “Dictators In Europe” from page 751 to 752. Choose a dictator and imagine that you are a newspaper reporter in the 1930s. Write an article that traces the rise of your dictator.
The actions of the dictators during the 1930s were violations of treaties their countries had signed. Imagine that you are a prosecuting attorney and create a list of charges being brought against these countries.