Activity 3: Nazi Germany
Activity 3: Nazi Germany
Here are three documents from Nazi Germany. Each of these documents was part of Adolf Hitler’s plans to take control of the hearts and minds of the German people and take more power for himself. After reading each document, complete the response activity below it.
To complete the response activities you will need one sheet of lined paper. Draw a line across the middle (from left to right) one side of the paper dividing it in half
We Are Voting for Hitler!(Excerpts)
This document was written by one of Adolf Hitler’s propaganda makers, a man named Joseph Goebbels. He wrote this piece to explain why people should vote for Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
A man who has the strength and gifts to build a movement of millions will also find a way to unify the entire nation, freeing it from the terrible conditions that tear apart our people.That is Adolf Hitler’s work! In him, the masses [the people of Germany] see their last hope. For millions, his name has become the bright symbol of the German desire for freedom.
We want to put Germany’s future in the hands of this man. He shows us the way. We are ready to follow him. A new Germany is rising from shame and disgrace, and we are its leaders!
Use the top half of your divided section for this activity.
On the left side, draw a picture showing how the author of this document wanted people to see Adolf Hitler.
On the right side, draw a picture showing how Adolf Hitler really was.
Ceremony of the Hitler Youth(Excerpts)
The Hitler Youth were young boys and girls who were forced to join the Nazi version of the Boy Scouts or Girls Scouts. As part of the Hitler Youth, children were taught how good and heroic the Nazi Party was and what a good leader Hitler was. It was a way for Hitler and the Nazi Party to take control of kids’ minds at a very young age. This is part of a speech that was given at one of the Hitler Your rallies.
Before you [the speaker was talking to Hitler, who was there to watch the ceremony], stand the leaders of the Hitler Youth, some of whom are the sons of the poorest of our nation. In the future, the only ones we will call poor are the ones who did not belong to our group when they were young.
You asked for a hundred thousand, but they have all come! They have proved that there is something even stronger than you thought, my Fuhrer, the love the German youth have for you! We are bound to you by your name. Your name is the youth’s happiness! Your name is our immortality!
Use the bottom half of your divided section to complete this activity.
Imagine that you were living in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party. Do you think you would have joined the Hitler Youth? Why or why not?
Answer in 3-7 complete sentences.
Reichstag Fire Decree(Excerpts)
The Reichstag Fire was supposedly an attack on Germany’s government by a radical Jewish terrorist. In reality, it was not what it appeared to be. The fire was used to convince Germans they needed to give Hitler and the Nazi party more control over Germany. This is part of the law that gave them that control.
On the basis of laws written in the Constitution of the German Government, the following is ordered to defend against the Communist violence threatening the nation:
- Certain articles of the Constitution are suspended [not used] until further notice.
The following are now allowed: Limits on individual freedom, freedom of speech, and the freedom to assemble. All mail, telephone, and telegraph can be monitored. Warrants for house searches and taking property are allowed beyond the previous legal limit.
- The following crimes were punishable by life in prison. They are now to be punished by death: high treason (acting against your government), arson, causing explosions, causing floods, and damaging railways.
Use the back of your paper to complete this activity
Answer each question in 3-7 complete sentences. Use evidence from the document to support your answers!
- Look again at the new limits on peoples’ freedoms in section 1. Choose three of the new powers the German government chose to take during this time. Explain how each of those made Germany’s government more totalitarian.
- Look at the changes in the punishments for certain crimes after the Reichstag Fire Decree and consider what you know about the Holocaust. How might these two ideas be connected?
- Consider all three documents. Which of these do you think is the most important piece of evidence showing how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis took power? Give at least three reasons to support your answer.