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- Lesson: The Roots and Impact of Antisemitism | Facing History
Students deepen their examination of human behavior during the Holocaust by analyzing and discussing the range of choices available to individuals, groups, and nations. Students grapple with the meaning of justice and the purpose of trials as they learn how the Allies responded to the atrocities of Nazi Germany.
Students approach the unit writing prompt in its entirety through journal reflection, evidence, gathering, and discussion. Students both respond to and design Holocaust memorials as they consider the impact that memorials and monuments have on the way we think about history. Students complete activities that help them think about the unit as a whole as they prepare a strong thesis statement for their essay. Get Started 2. Introducing The Unit 3. Exploring Identity 4.
Universe of Obligation 6. The Concept of Race 7. The Roots and Impact of Antisemitism 8.
The Weimar Republic The Rise of the Nazi Party Dismantling Democracy Do You Take the Oath? Laws and the National Community The Power of Propaganda Youth and the National Community Kristallnacht Responding to a Refugee Crisis Race and Space The Holocaust: Bearing Witness The Holocaust: The Range of Responses Justice and Judgment after the Holocaust How Should We Remember?
Choosing to Participate. Add or Edit Playlist. What is antisemitism, and how has it impacted Jews in the past and today? Students will be able to explain how anti-Judaism developed into antisemitism in the nineteenth century. Students will consider the present-day implications of longstanding patterns of discrimination and violence against Jews.
A note on terms: The term anti-Judaism refers to religious prejudice against Jews before the historical emergence of the concept of race. The word Semitic does not actually refer to a group of people. Because there is no such thing as a Semitic race, Facing History and Ourselves uses the alternate spelling antisemitism.
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Historian Deborah Dwork explains: The move from anti-Judaism—against the religion—to antisemitism with this notion of "race" was only possible when Europeans conceived of the idea of race. And once they had conceived of the idea of race in the 19th century, Wilhelm Marr had the notion that Jews constituted a "race. Previewing Vocabulary The following are key vocabulary terms used in this lesson: Antisemitism Anti-Judaism Aryan Marginalize Add these words to your Word Wall , if you are using one for this unit, and provide necessary support to help students learn these words as you teach the lesson.
Ask students to respond to the following question in their journals: How do rumors get started? Why might lies and myths about people persist even after they have been proven wrong? Explore the History of Antisemitism Inform students that in this lesson, they are going to learn about antisemitism. In this lesson, they will look at history to understand how religious prejudice against Jews evolved into racism.
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Give students the handout Overview of Anti-Judaism and Antisemitism. Instruct students to read the handout with a partner, stopping at each box to annotate the section and answer the text-based questions. Debrief the reading with students by asking them to share their answers to the questions. Take this opportunity to correct any misunderstandings regarding the history of anti-Judaism and antisemitism. In the same pairs, ask students to discuss the following questions: What do students notice about the history of hatred, discrimination, and violence toward Jews?
How is antisemitism, which emerged in the s, different from the anti-Judaism that existed before the s? Why is that difference significant? What were the consequences?
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Ask the student pairs to share their answers to these questions in a brief class discussion. Roughly a third of the groups should work with each of the three excerpts from the reading set. How does she respond when confronted with the fact that another person believes a false myth or stereotype about Jews?
During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also persecuted other groups because of their perceived racial and biological inferiority.
These included Roma "Gypsies" , people with disabilities, some of the Slavic peoples Poles, Russians, and others , Soviet prisoners of war, and blacks. German authorities persecuted other groups on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds. Among them were Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire. During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived racial and biological inferiority: Roma Gypsies , people with disabilities , some of the Slavic peoples Poles , Russians, and others , Soviet prisoners of war, and blacks.
Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses , and homosexuals. In , the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. By the end of the war in , the Germans and their allies and collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the " Final Solution. The Nazis considered Jews to be the inferior race that posed the deadliest menace to the German Volk.
Soon after they came to power, the Nazis adopted measures to exclude Jews from German economic, social and cultural life and to pressure them to emigrate.follow url
Introduction to the Holocaust
While Jews were the priority target of Nazi racism , other groups within Germany were persecuted for racial reasons, including Roma then commonly called "Gypsies" , Afro-Germans, and people with mental or physical disabilities. By the end of the war, the Germans and their Axis partners murdered up to , Roma. And between and , they murdered at least , mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly German and living in institutions, in the so-called Euthanasia Program.
As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people seen as biologically inferior or dangerous. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war , viewed by the Nazis as the biological "carriers" of Bolshevism, were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or brutal treatment. From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and other Germans whose behavior did conform to prescribed social norms such as beggars, alcoholics, and prostitutes , incarcerating thousands of them in prisons and concentration camps.
German police officials similarly persecuted thousands of Germans viewed as political opponents including Communists, Socialists, Freemasons, and trade unionists and religious dissidents such as Jehovah's Witnesses. Many of these individuals died as a result of maltreatment and murder. World War II provided Nazi officials the opportunity to adopt more radical measures against the Jews under the pretext that they posed a threat to Germany.
After occupying Poland , German authorities confined the Jewish population to ghettos , to which they also later deported thousands of Jews from the Third Reich.
Lesson: The Roots and Impact of Antisemitism | Facing History
Hundreds of thousands of Jews died from the horrendous conditions in the ghettos in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union in June , Einsatzgruppen and Waffen SS units, with support from the Wehrmacht, moved behind German lines to murder Jews, Roma, and Soviet state and Communist Party officials in mass shootings as well as in specially equipped gas vans. Mass shootings of Jews continued throughout the war, many conducted by militarized battalions of the German Order Police.
These shooting operations are estimated to have claimed the lives of more than 1. Between and , Nazi Germany and its Allies deported nearly three million Jews from areas under their control to Nazi-occupied Poland. The vast majority were sent to killing centers , often called extermination camps, at Belzec , Chelmno , Sobibor , Treblinka , and Auschwitz-Birkenau , where they were murdered primarily by means of poison gas. Some able-bodied Jewish deportees were temporarily spared to perform forced labor in ghettos, forced labor camps for Jews, or concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Soviet Union.
Most of these workers died from starvation and disease or were killed when they became too weak to work. My mother ran over to me and grabbed me by the shoulders, and she told me "Leibele, I'm not going to see you no more. Take care of your brother. As Allied forces moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, as well as prisoners en route by forced march from one camp to another.
The marches continued until May 7, , the day the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. In the aftermath of the Holocaust , more than , survivors found shelter in displaced persons camps run by the Allied powers and the United Nations Refugee and Rehabilitation Administration in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Between and , , Jewish displaced persons immigrated to Israel, while others resettled in the United States and other nations outside Europe. Other Jewish displaced persons emigrated to the United States and other nations.