Weekly Discussion and Review Questions

 Chapter 11 Nazism and the Holocaust

Questions of the Documents: :

Characterize the initial reaction of the Ebermeyer family to Hitler's' appointment as Reich Chancellor? What reasons make the Ebermeyers fear for the future?

What is the significance of the Reichstag fire and the subsequent Decree of 28 February?

Does the NSDAP win a majority in the manipulated elections of March, 1933? What does Hitler require to gain control of Germany?

What arguments were used to support the purge of the civil service? What was the role of the SA in this move?

What is Gleichschaltung? Using some specific documents, show how it worked, for example, why did Ebermeyer's friend G&emdash; join the NSDAP? What happened to the trade unions?, the schools? Why should the Disabled Veterans League and the Goat Insurance Association be affected?

Already by the fall of 1933, German society had become increasingly atomized. What examples of this do you find in the diaries of Ebermeyer and Schmidt? Were either one under direct government pressure? How do they describe their fears?

What are Concentration Camps? How were they set up? What impact did they have to

Both Herbert K&emdash; and Ebermeyer describes reactions to this suppression. Are they similar?

What role did the murder of Ernst Röhm and his 70 SA leaders play in establishing Hitler's rule in Germany? According to the SOPADE reports, how did the mass of Germans react to all these events?

What was the SS? What was Himmler's view of the role of police activities? Why is the SS an important factor in the anarchy of the Third Reich?

What seems to be the basis of Hitler's anti-Semitism? Did Hitler's approach play an important role in the early manifestations of anti-Semitism in the Third Reich? Is there a pattern in the numerous measures taken against Jews? Who generally takes the initiative in pushing these measures?

How is "Jewishness" defined in the Nürnberg Law and the Supplemental Decree to Citizenship Law? Summarize the main points of the Nürnberg Laws.

Closely scrutinize the list of anti-Semitic measure implemented in Germany before the war. Categorize each of the measures: which affect participation in public life, in education, in employment, in personal life. Can you find a chronological or thematic organizing scheme?

From the documents, what caused the Night of Broken Glass? What were some of the reactions of Germans to this pogrom? In the wake of the night of broken glass, what is Jochen Klepper's worst fear for Jewish Germans?

What is the principle emotional difficulty for the Solmitz and Klepper families in confronting the anti-Semitic activities of the NSDAP and the State?

How did the war alter the nature of the German anti-Semitic measures? What is the great fear that Klepper repeatedly expresses in this regard?

What is the Madagascar Plan, and what does it show about the nature of anti-Semitism in the Third Reich? Do other measures show the same pattern?

What policy toward the Jews did the SS push in early 1941. Rephrase in plain English the Top Secret Letter from Goering to Heydrich.

What are the Einsatzgruppen and how do they fit into official German policy toward the Jews? What significance do their top-secret reports have in resolving the question of whether or not the murder of Jews had been ordered?

On whom does the SS rely to execute Jews in occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union? What might be the reasons behind such a decision?

Why does Hans Frank want to raise the Jewish Question in late 1941? What does the Wannsee Conference solve? What issues were not discussed at this conference? Do the documents on the mobil killing-units fit into the Wannsee scenario?

Summarize the events which Kurt Gerstein witnessed in June 1942. Why wasn't his report believed? Did the Kleppers know the details of the killings? Could many Germans have learned? What evidence is there that many people knew some of the details?

What do the diary of Dr. Kremer and the speeches of Heinrich Himmler reveal about attitudes toward the killing of the Jews? Does Richard Böck's post-war affidavit add anything new to their picture?

Chapter Summary Questions:

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