World war ii
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World War II. Introduction to WWII and the Holocaust. Basic Information. Early 1930s: rise of Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler Axis powers: Germany, Italy, Japan WWII started in Europe with the German invasion of Poland (1939) and in the Pacific with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1941)

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World War II

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World war ii

World War II

Introduction to WWII and the Holocaust


Basic information

Basic Information

  • Early 1930s: rise of Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler

  • Axis powers: Germany, Italy, Japan

  • WWII started in Europe with the German invasion of Poland (1939) and in the Pacific with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1941)

  • Axis powers initially experienced success

  • Allied powers: Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union

  • In 1945 Allied powers defeated the Axis powers


The holocaust

The Holocaust

  • Hitler put his anti-Semitic views into practice when he came into power

  • “Final Solution” – war of genocide waged on the Jewish population

  • Poland: Jews were executed and buried in mass graves

  • 1942: Jews in all German-controlled nations were sent to labor or death camps

  • End of the war: 5 million Jews killed in camps, over 10 million Jews, gypsies, Catholics, Africans, and other “impure” people were killed by death squads


Concentration camps

Concentration Camps

  • a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that are acceptable in a constitutional democracy.


Evaluating sources

Evaluating Sources

  • When researching historical events, it is important to make sure the information is accurate. Having a reliable resource is a great way to do this.

  • Primary sources: firsthand, original accounts. Ex: diaries, letters, memoirs, and newsreels. Reliable eyewitness information.

  • Secondary sources: written by people who were not there. Ex: newspaper articles, biographies, history books, ect. Secondary source credibility depends on authorship and dates they were written.


Poet study randall jarrell

Poet Study: Randall Jarrell

  • Born in Tennessee, raised in California

  • Worked as an English professor in colleges across the U.S.

  • In 1942, Jarrell joined the U.S. Army Air Corps

  • Served as a pilot before training pilots to fly B-29 bombers

  • Wrote two books of poetry during the war


Quickwrite

Quickwrite:

  • Considering the information we’ve learned about WWII, answer the following questions:

    • What attitude toward war would you expect to find in a poem written in 1945?

    • What attitude toward war do you find in most literature and films about war today?


The death of the ball turret gunner

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

Randall Jarrell

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,

And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.

Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,

I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.

When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.


The ball turret

The Ball Turret

A ball turret was a plexiglass sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine guns and one man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside down in his little sphere, he looked like the fetus in the womb. The fighters which attached him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose.

~ Randall Jerrell

Using what you know about Randall Jerrell, is this passage a primary or secondary source?


Response and analysis

Response and Analysis

  • Who is speaking in this poem?

  • What is the temperature like in the ball turret?

  • What happens to the speaker?

  • “Belly” in line 2 of the poem can be read in two ways. What is the literal meaning? What is the metaphoric meaning?

  • What details in Jarrell’s explanation of the ball turret add levels of meaning to his poem?


Evaluate

Evaluate

  • Review your Quickwrite. How well did you predict Jarrell’s attitude toward war? Explain.


Author study elie wiesel

Author Study: Elie Wiesel

  • 1944: Wiesel was a 15 year old, living in Hungary with his family

  • March of that year Hungary was invaded by Germany and the Nazis moved the Wiesel family to a concentration camp in Germany-occupied Poland

  • He saw his mother and younger sister put into a gas chamber to die

  • He saw his father succumb to dysentery

  • April 1945: Wiesel was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp


Author study elie wiesel cont d

Author Study: Elie Wiesel (cont’d)

  • Wiesel promised himself that if he survived his time in Buchenwald, he would devote his life to spreading the world about the atrocities he witnessed

  • He also fought for civil and human rights around the world

  • He wrote Night (originally titled And The World Kept Silent) ten years after his release from Buchenwald

  • Because of his writing, studies, and efforts to promote human rights, he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1986


Wiesel s reflection

Wiesel’s reflection:

“This is what I say to the young Jewish boy wondering what I have done with his years. It is in his name that I speak to you and that I express to you my deepest gratitude. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the Kingdom of Night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour is an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.”


Vocabulary for night

Vocabulary for Night

  • Abyss ~ bottomless gulf or void

  • Pestilential ~ dangerous and harmful, like a deadly infection

  • Abominable ~ nasty and disgusting

  • Encumbrance ~ hindrance, burden

  • Semblance ~ appearance, likeness

  • Conscientiously ~ carefully; painstakingly; thoroughly

  • Apathy ~ indifference; lack of emotion

  • Memoir ~ true account of a personal experience


Response and analysis1

Response and Analysis

  • What does Madam Schachter see on the journey? How do her cries affect her son? Her fellow prisoners?

  • When the prisoners arrive at Aushwitz, what do they see that proves Madame Schachter’s vision tragically correct?

  • In the second excerpt, what does the head of Wiesel’s block advise the prisoners to do before the selection process? Why?

  • What is AkibaDrumer’s last request?

  • In the third excerpt, what does Juliek play at Gleiwitz? Who is his audience?


Thinking critically

Thinking Critically

  • In the first excerpt, what do you think causes Madame Schachter’s terrible visions?

  • In the second excerpt, how has AkibaDrumer “begun to die” when he starts to lose his faith in God? What do you think kept Wiesel from giving up?

  • At the end of the third excerpt, why do you think Wiesel uses the metaphor of “a strange overwhelming little corpse” to describe Juliek’s violin? Why might the violin symbolize for Wiesel?

  • What message is Wiesel communicating to us in telling these stories of terrible human suffering? Think of what these stories say about the power of faith, the power of evil, and the power of art?


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