Why the Jews?
Students will learn about Adolf Hitler's past leading up to the Holocaust and how these events could have influenced his antisemitic ideology.
Follow the evolvement of antisemitism from its origin to its use in racial Nazi ideology. Students will break into groups to discuss questions on antisemitism, scapegoating, and the effects of hate speech.
Nazi racial ideology fed off of pre-existing antisemitic prejudices.
Ask your students if they know why the Nazis persecuted Jews, specifically? What is their understanding of this?
Ask your students if they think antisemitism first started during the Nazi era.
Would they consider antisemitism to be a form of racism? Why or why not?
Play the video, Why the Jews: History of Antisemitism by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Divide the class into groups of three or five to discuss the questions from USHMM found underneath the video. Assign each group one of the Discussion Questions to discuss amongst themselves.
Ask each group to write down some thoughts their group had and have them be prepared to share what they came up with to the class. Give groups 5-10 minutes for their discussions before reconvening as a class. Have each group present what they discussed. Encourage the students listening to share their thoughts, opinions, and questions on the other groups’ answers.
This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
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