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Overview. A Short History of AntiSemitism. Draw on what we learned from the anti-Semitism power point to complete this assignment.

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slide2
Draw on what we learned from the anti-Semitism power point to complete this assignment.

Throughout history, Jews have been demonized and dehumanized. As we go through this unit, pay special attention to the demonizing and dehumanizing of the Jews by the Nazis. In what ways do they accomplish this task?

using the reading in handout 1a discuss the following questions
Using the reading in Handout 1A, discuss the following questions:

Do you think the events described in this story could happen to anyone in the community where you live? Why or why not?

Could this happen anywhere? If so, where?

What rights do citizens in the United States have that protect them from being evicted from their homes or arrested?

you are there
You Are There

It’s late in the afternoon on a weekday. You are home after school watching television. You hear people making loud noises outside in the street. So you get up and look out the window. You see people being marched down your street, at gunpoint, by men in uniform. The people are your neighbors. You also recognize some of the men in uniform. One of them works at the grocery store where your family shops. On of the people being marched down the street is the lady from the corner house with her two kids. “What’s going on?” you call out to people walking quickly by on the street.

slide5

“Never mind,” says one.

“Don’t ask,” says someone else.

“It doesn’t concern you.” says a third person. Then the street is deserted again.

The next day at school you notice several empty seats in your English class. By the end of the week more kids are missing. None of your friends seem to know where any of them have gone. Then one of your teachers disappears, replaced by a substitute. No one knows why. “Never mind,” they say. “A new teacher will come. Maybe she’ll give less homework.”

Then one Saturday you call a friend to see about going to a movie. The phone rings and rings. Finally a recorded message comes over the line: “Sorry—this number is no longer in service.” You hurry over to your friends house. The door is open. Strangers are carrying away furniture that belongs to your friend’s family. Your friend is nowhere around. You step into the house, but a police officer stops you. “Sorry,” he says. “This house is off limits. It now belongs to the government.”

“But why?” you say.

“The people who lived here have been taken away,” he says.

“What did they do wrong?” you ask.

“People like them, they didn’t have to do anything wrong to get in trouble. Now if I were you, I’d move along and not ask any more questions.”

using the reading in handout 1a discuss the following questions1
Using the reading in Handout 1A, discuss the following questions:

Do you think the events described in this story could happen to anyone in the community where you live? Why or why not?

Could this happen anywhere? If so, where?

What rights do citizens in the United States have that protect them from being evicted from their homes or arrested?

fact not fantasy walter in germany
FACT-NOT FANTASY: WALTER IN GERMANY

The next reading is fact, not fiction. It is part of a testimony of a survivor of the Holocaust whose name is Walter. Walter lives in North Carolina. In 1935, when the Nazis took over in Germany, Walter was 11 years old. His mother was a widow. His father, a veteran who had fought in the German army in World War I, had died some years earlier. He and his mother lived in an apartment in the town of Karlsruhe, near Berlin.

handout 1b
Handout 1B

Think about the following questions as you are reading:

What was the first change Walter noticed in his school?

Why do you think Walter was not permitted to say “Heil Hitler”?

How were the other students and teachers told to act towards Walter and other Jewish students?

What was the effect of these restrictions on Walter and other students?

fact not fantasy walter in germany1
FACT-NOT FANTASY: WALTER IN GERMANY

At first I went to public school like everyone else in my town, but I was not permitted to say “Heil Hitler” or wear a uniform. This set me apart from the rest of my classmates. I had to attend school parades and listen to propaganda speeches.

The attitude towards Jewish people became worse as time went on. The other students were told not to socialize with Jews. The teachers were not suppose to speak to our parents. In 1937, we were separated from other German children and placed in a school with children who were mentally handicapped.

On the day after Kristallnacht began, the first thing I noticed as I went to school that morning was that the Jewish shoe store downstairs had all the windows smashed. Glass and shoes were all over the street.

I went off to school and the first thing we were told in school was that the teacher would be late because the synagogue was burning and he had gone there. The next hour was uneventful. The teacher returned. Then some plainclothes men, I guess they were from the Gestapo, came and they took the teacher and the headmaster [principal] away and I went home.

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Getting home, I found my mother in tears because two men had been up to our apartment and searched it. They had torn the curtains and a few pictures off the wall. I suppose they were looking for valuables. My mother was very upset.

My mother said, “Let’s go to Grandma’s” and that’s what we did. We went to the railroad station and took a train. My Grandma lived about an hour and a half away in a small village. Everything was calm there. There was a Nazi in uniform standing in front of Grandma’s house. He happened to be the next door neighbor. This man put on his Nazi uniform and stood in front of the house so that no one would do anything to Grandma. He looked out for us. So he was a good Nazi, if there is such a thing.

handout 1b1
Handout 1B

In your area, discuss these questions:

What was the first change Walter noticed in his school?

Why do you think Walter was not permitted to say “Heil Hitler”?

How were the other students and teachers told to act towards Walter and other Jewish students?

What was the effect of these restrictions on Walter and other students?

handout 1b2
Handout 1B

Consider the following questions after you have read:

  • How would you feel if you were not permitted to dress like your friends? Or if you learned you were being sent to another school halfway through the year?
  • What might you or your parents do about these rules if you were unhappy with them?
  • Why couldn’t Walter’s mother do anything?
  • Why do you think Walter says the man is a good Nazi, “if there is such a thing”?
  • Is a person who helps others whom he knows personally, while carrying out actions that violate the rights of those he does not know, a “good” person?
stereotypes
Stereotypes

Everyone has stereotypes about others and stereotyping can lead to prejudice. Stereotypes are based largely on generalizations that people make about a person or a group.

Think of groups of people who are “demonized” in the media or within their own peer groups.

List the following names on a piece of paper and then write next to them words or phrase you associate with each group.

Politicians, 2. Old People, 3. Teenagers, 4. Harvard University Students, 5. North Carolina State University Students, 6. Professional Basketball Players, 7. Professional Ballet Dancers, 8. Welfare Recipients, 9. Computer Programmers, 10. Germans, 11. New Yorkers, 12. Southerners, 13. Migrant Workers, 14. Democrats, 15. Republicans

slide14

Choose 4 groups from your list that you have listed with fairly negative attitudes.

  • Use the chart to analyze the role each of these opinion sources has had in the formation of your negative stereotypes.
  • Consider the extent to which your attitude and assumptions about a group are based on repeated direct contact with members of this group and which are generalized from a single experience or from the portrayal of this group by the media.
handout 1c where does it come from
Handout 1CWHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

My Beliefs About __________________________