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Hitler / WW2 / Legacy


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#1 Russel Tarr

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 08:38 AM

To establish the relevance of the "Causes of WW2" or "Hitler's Germany" I deliver a bit of a seminar to my Year 10 students (below).

Hopefully you will find it useful!

I was thinking of turning it into a PowerPoint Presentation - if you have a chance to read through, suggest any necessary amendments / improvements I'd really appreciate it.


Russ.



The notes:

Teacher introduction:
The study of the causes of World War Two are central to any understanding of the world today. I am going to deliver a short seminar and your job is to make notes in the back of your book.

1. The end of Hitler’s Germany
On the afternoon of Monday 30 April 1945, a handful of Adolf Hitler's most faithful followers entered his underground study in Berlin and saw their Fuhrer for the last time. His body, slumped on a couch, was still warm. Blood oozed from his mouth and from a gunshot wound in the right temple. Next to Hitler was the body of Eva Braun, who had crunched a poison capsule as her part in one of history's most notorious suicide pacts and shortest marriages. The newly-weds were wrapped in grey army blankets and carried into the shell-torn Chancellory garden. A large quantity of gasoline was poured over the couple and ignited. The two corpses were enveloped in a sheet of flame. On 1 May, Hamburg Radio interrupted a performance of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony with a roll of drums and a sombre announcement that Adolf Hitler: 'Fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism, fell for Germany this afternoon in his operational headquarters in the Reich Chancellory.'
• Hitler had dreamt of a “Thousand Year Reich”. It lasted only 12 years.

2. Legacy – (a) The world he has created:
• Middle East: Israel created in response to the Holocaust, but at the expense of infuriating Arabs. Israel’s seizure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip following an Arab attack in the 1960’s still is a massive problem today.
• Africa: The exhaustion of France, Britain and Belgium > 1945 led to the hasty breakup of Empires and a power vacuum which led to civil war in places such as Kenya and starvation in Ethiopia
• Asia: The British Raj broken up between Pakistan and India.
• Eastern Europe: power vacuum leads to Iron curtain between East and West, fallout today in former Yugoslavia.

3. Legacy – (B) The lessons which he has taught us:
• Dictators such as Saddam Hussein are currently the subject of much debate and soul-searching on the part of the Western powers, led by the USA.
• Some argue that he should be trodden on harshly – but others point out that this is what we did to Germany after World War One in the Treaty of Versailles, and that this created all sorts of problems for the future.
• Others argue that Iraq has just as much right to have weapons as we do – but others reply that this is comparable to the way we appeased Hitler in the 1930’s.
• Either way, the example of Hitler is thrown out again and again.
• A German minister compared George Bush to Hitler, whilst Bush compared Hussein to Hitler.

• All this stresses that Adolf Hitler is the most powerful character of the 20th century. It is crucial that we study him in depth to understand the world we live in and how we should respond to it.

"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good" - Stephen Colbert

#2 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 05:35 PM

I think turning this lecture (rather than seminar, surely?) into a PowerPoint is an excellent idea - especially if the knowledge of world geography of your Year 10s is as abysmal as mine :sad:

Portraits of the people mentioned and maps of the areas referred to would provide a visual stimulus if this intro. is being delivered in the classroom. In addition you could 'send to' Word and have handouts of the slides with predrawn lines for their own notes. Alternatively, if the handouts include the notes that would free up time for debate and/or discussion after the PPT has been shown. (Though you may intend to deliver this online?)

I have a slight reservation in that these (2a) notes seem to suggest that Hitler is solely responsible for pretty much everything that has happened since 1945. I realise that the pupils are 14/15 and that these are notes not what you actually say, but I still worry a little about the apparent suggestion that (eg) starvation in Ethiopia is "all Hitler's fault" - a conclusion that I think some of my own pupils would be likely to reach.

However I like the indication that a link is to be made (and frequently developed I have no doubt as their GCSE course progresses) with the world in which they live and current political affairs. I think I would focus less specifically on the current situation regarding Iraq in the final section, but clearly this is an important aspect of the 'lessons learned' from the 1930s and '40s.

Overall though I think it's a good way in to a study of Hitler/Causes of the second world war and that a PPT would be an excellent idea.

#3 Russel Tarr

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 08:59 AM

I have a slight reservation in that these (2a) notes seem to suggest that Hitler is solely responsible for pretty much everything that has happened since 1945. I realise that the pupils are 14/15 and that these are notes not what you actually say, but I still worry a little about the apparent suggestion that (eg) starvation in Ethiopia is "all Hitler's fault" - a conclusion that I think some of my own pupils would be likely to reach.


Yes, I take your point on this. I'll certainly amend that. The actual notes you read are verbatim from my Scheme of Work and (like all of us, I guess) I'm sometimes guilty of simplifying things to the extent of making them a trifle misleading...thanks for pointing that one out.

I like your other ideas too - I'll certainly use those.

"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good" - Stephen Colbert

#4 A Finemess

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 05:10 PM

Up here we have a Unit "Appeasement and the Road to War" as part of the Higher History course. I always start with the last 10 minutes of a C4 prog called "Did we have to fight?" Features clips from Edward Heath, Andrew Roberts, John Grigg etc putting the arguments for and against the war (and by extension appeasement) Some of the arguments feature in your piece which, for me, may be a little too sweeping? I think I would tend to go for the big picture and maybe in a "profit and loss" way ...

Britain (loss) : Loss of Empire, bankruptcy, austerity. Loss of world power status
Britain Britain (gain) : welfare state, NHS, greater social equality.

USSR (loss) 20 million+ casualties, huge destruction of W Russia.
USSR (gain) dominance over E Europe, super power status

USA (loss) isolationism, economic problems of the 30s
USA (gain) superpower / nuclear status , economic and cultural hegemony.

The world (loss) cold war, surrogate wars in Vietnam, Middle East etc.
The world (gain) UN, UCATT, World Bank etc

If this is for A level you might end in 1989 with a shot of Berliners on the Wall and the idea that this was "the end of History"?
“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out otheir dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”.(T.E. Lawrence)
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#5 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 06:37 PM

I think I would tend to go for the big picture and maybe in a "profit and loss" way ...
<snip>
If this is for A level you might end in 1989 with a shot of Berliners on the Wall and the idea that this was "the end of History"?

I like the 'profit and loss' idea. Much better balance. Though this is Russ's lesson, of course, not mine.

I think he said they were Year 10s, didn't he? ie. 1st year GCSE aged 14/15.

[Is Higher History like AS?(16/17) or A2?(17/18) ]

#6 Andrew Field

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 06:41 PM

Is Higher History like AS?(16/17) or A2?(17/18)

Higher used to = A-Level.
Standard Grade = GCSE.

I think there is now also 'Higher Still' or something simliar, but I think this replaced SYS studies (the next level on from highers if you were still at school).


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#7 Russel Tarr

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 03:18 PM

Some great ideas here. That "profit and loss" approach sounds brilliant...thanks a lot for that! I'll let you know as and when I have converted my notes into a PowerPoint show...

"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good" - Stephen Colbert

#8 neil mcdonald

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 04:50 PM

Of course Hitler's impact on Europe has been very important - The Cold War was fought in Europe due to Hitler's invasion of the East - the splitting of Germany. I think ti would be excellent on powerpoint - with maps to highlight the global reprocussions of events and people. I like the idea of Profit v's loss, when i thought about the project it has the potential to be very big.
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#9 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 10:01 PM

The world (gain) UN, UCATT, World Bank etc


UN gain agreed
UCATT (Union of Construction and Allied Trades?) good fight against asbestos

World Bank - I and 4 billion others would dispute that as a gain.

But you knew I'd say that,eh? :devil:
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