The reading material for this week can be hard to take. However, we want to bear witness to the atrocities of the past and the choices people made. This is part of building historical consciousness so that our present is more informed.
The film Night and Fog is optional viewing this week. However, if you can manage it, please watch it. You can leave it out of your discussion for question #2, but will need to watch it if you want to answer question #3.
1) Compare and contrast the speeches made by Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle in 1940. Remember that both of these countries were imperialist and maintained colonial ties.
How do Churchill and de Gaulle use the language of empire and nationalism in their speeches? Cite at least one example. Do you find their speeches inspiring or not? Explain.
2) Compare and contrast Hitler’s Mein Kampf with Anne Franke’s Diary, and the (optional) film Night and Fog. Describe examples of fascism and anti-Semitism that lead to dehumanization.
What are the dangers and consequences of fascist and anti-Semitic language, such as Hitler’s depiction of Jews? What actions are taken against them to make them seem less human? Why do you think societies permit the dehumanization of a group of people?
3) In response to the film Night and Fog, consider what it took for the Nazi’s to naturalize mass death. What were the industrial and mechanical methods used by the Nazi’s and how did German businesses and professionals collaborate with them? Describe at least two examples.
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