The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Antisemitism and conspiracy theories against Jewish people did not begin, nor did it end, with Nazi Germany.
- 1Why is it easier to continue believing a lie than it is to admit wrongdoing?
Begin by asking your students, how does false information spread? Prompt students by asking them to think of social media. How credible are the posts they see? How easily are they shared? What is the danger in being able to easily and quickly post and share information?
Pull up the resource, A Hoax of Hate: The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion by the Anti-Defamation League. Start by reading the introduction and stop after the section titled, “The Protocols and Nazi Germany.”
Divide your class into small groups of 3-5 and provide them with the instructions below. Provide 10-15 minutes for the group activity before coming back together as a class to go over their answers.
- Read through the document at the designated sections. (Introduction through The Protocols in Nazi Germany)
- As a group, write out your answers to the following questions:
- What are the Protocols? What were they used for?
- How did they spread? How many countries did they reach?
- The Protocols were widely proven to be false, yet the conspiracy theory continued to spread. How difficult is it to retract or “undo” a lie?