Lesson Plan

Rising From The Ashes

Students will learn the devastation caused by World War I and its equally devastating aftermath. Enter Hitler, a fresh face with the charisma to work his way into a position of power; the perfect platform to spew his extreme views.

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Nazi Germany
World War I

Enduring Understanding

World War I was a devastating blow to Germany’s economy, politics, and ego. The result was a struggling society desperate for stability.

Essential Question

  • 1How does political or economic instability create an opening for extremist views?


5 Min

Tell students that they will be watching a video on the aftermath of World War I. Ask students why they think it is important to study World War I when setting the groundwork for Holocaust education.


30 Min

Watch the video, Chapter 1: Aftermath of World War I and the Rise of Nazism, 1918-1933 by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

While the students watch, have them answer the following questions:

  1. What was the political and economic scene like after World War I?
  2. What did Hitler do while in jail? How might his incarceration have helped his public image?
  3. How did Hitler get into a position of power? Was he elected?
  4. How did the emergency decree get signed? What impact did it have?

Go over the questions as a class, clearing up any points of confusion any of the students may have.


15 Min

Open up a class discussion with the questions below using pre-writing or pair-and-share if appropriate for your students.

  1. Advances in technology meant that war became more destructive, the video mentions the introduction of poison gas. What advancements in war have been made since World War II that cause more destruction? Are there any advantages to the new methods of war?
  2. Why do you think it was so hard for Germans to accept that they had lost the war?
  3. Were there any signs you noticed that could have foreshadowed what was to come?

Wisconsin Academic Standards

This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Teacher Primer

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