November 1, 2015 – Mitzvah – 6/7

  Today’s class began with a review of last week’s discussion on identity, stereotype and being a bystander.

Then, we covered the early years of Nazi Germany, from 1933 to 1938.  We discussed the Nuremberg laws, and Kristallnacht.
Your students are impressively well versed in the idea of an economic depression. We discussed how Post WWI Germany was ripe for political change, as people were hungry, out of work and desperate for improvement.  “Scapegoat” was the new word today, and the idea that Hitler used blaming Germany’s misfortune on the Jews (and others) to rally people on board with his ideas.
The Nuremberg laws and many ways people were required to identify themselves as Jewish, tied back into last week’s discussion on identity and stereotype.  The students asked very relevant and interesting questions.  Caroline who wondered if any of these laws remained on the books after WWII, similar to outdated laws still on the books in our country.  We discussed how there are active laws in place in other parts of the world where people are persecuted against because of race, religion and gender.
We watched a short video on Kristallnacht, which led to a discussion of researching further on their own at home.  I warned the students that some of the information on the internet is very graphic in nature.  I encouraged them to research with a parent or adult, so that they can have someone answer questions and guide their research.
Look forward to seeing you all in two weeks when we will discuss Ghetto life.
-Rachel

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