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CNN Student News Learning Activity: Discrimination in Nazi Germany

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(CNN Student News) -- Examine the history of prejudice and discrimination during Adolf Hitler's rise to power and during the Holocaust.

Procedure

Begin the activity by asking students:

  1. What are prejudice and discrimination?
  2. How can prejudice and discrimination impact a society? Give examples.
  3. Why do you think that prejudice and discrimination exist?
  4. Do you think that prejudice and discrimination are innate human characteristics, or are they learned?

After the discussion, direct student groups to library and online resources to learn about the history of anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination during Adolf Hitler's rise to power and the role of discrimination during the Holocaust. Have each group prepare a multimedia presentation of its findings and present it to the class. After the presentations, pose the following questions for class discussion:

  1. In your opinion, what factors contributed to the rise in anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination in Nazi Germany?
  2. Do you think that anything could have been done to prevent the escalation of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany? If not, why not? If so, what could have been done to prevent the escalation?
  3. Do you think that another Holocaust could occur during your lifetime? Why or why not? State your rationale.

Correlated Standards

Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

Standard l. Culture: Students will learn about culture and cultural diversity. Students will explore the nature of culture and specific aspects of culture, such as language and beliefs, and the influence of those aspects on human behavior.

Standard II. Time, Continuity and Change: Students will learn about the ways human beings view themselves in and over time.

Standard lV. Individual Development and Identity: Students will explore the influences on individual development and identity including culture, groups and institutions.

Standard V. Individuals, Groups and Institutions: Students will explore how groups are formed, what controls and influences them, how they control and influence individuals and culture and how institutions can be maintained or changed.

Standard VI. Power, Authority and Governance: Students will understand the historical development of structures of power, authority and governance and their evolving functions in contemporary U.S. society as well as other parts of the world.

The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (http://www.socialstudies.org/standards/) are published by the National Council for Social Studies (http://www.socialstudies.org/).

Keywords

Holocaust, Nazi Germany, Kristallnacht, prejudice, discrimination, anti-Semitism

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