The Power of a Lie
Students will watch a short film about the idea of Blood Libel. To accompany this video, students will read short stories about how Blood Libel was used to blame Jews for incidents in the community.
Students will watch a short film showing a pro-Nazi demonstration from 1939 in New York.
American citizens were aware of Nazi ideology and some supported and embraced these values.
Explain to your students that while the Nazi party only resided in Germany, Nazi ideology and practices sprouted in areas within the United States. The German-American Bund was a pro-Nazi organization for Americans of German descent. The Bund’s leader, Fritz Kuhn, tried to portray himself as the “American fuhrer,” although the organization never received support from the Nazi party.
Explain to your students that the German-American Bund was present in multiple states. The largest Bund rally was held in 1939 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Play this 7-minute film, A Night at the Garden by filmmaker Marshall Curry. Warn students that the video contains hateful speech and that some of the clip may be difficult to watch.
While they watch, ask students to take notes on what they see. When the film is over, take 5 minutes for students to share what they wrote down.
Use the remaining time to open a discussion with the questions below:
This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Before you teach, use our teacher primer to freshen up on your content knowledge.