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The Holocaust Close Reading Analysis:

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Presentation on theme: "The Holocaust Close Reading Analysis:"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Holocaust Close Reading Analysis:
Read Martin Niemöller’s short quotation Identify: What is Niemöller’s argument? Evalute: To what extent does Niemöller’s argument relate to FDR’s Four Freedoms and U.S. Action before and during WWII? First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

2 Evaluating America’s Response to the Holocaust
To what extent did U.S. action on the home front corroborate or contradict FDR’s Four Freedoms? Was U.S. action justified in the historical context of WWII America?

3 Key Concepts: Tension Presentism Contextualization
We all have a modern or presentist bias Tendency to judge the past with a modern mindset, based on present-day beliefs, norms, principles and values. Tends to ignore or place less significance on historical context Important to recognize when you’re being presentist and check yourself Contextualization Key historical thinking skill The ability to recognize historical context and analyze events based on the beliefs, norms, principles and values that were important during the time period under study. In a sense, placing yourself in that time period and judging the past on its own terms A useful counter-weight to presentism, or way of balancing a presentist mindset with a historical mindset.

4 Important: Contextualization does not excuse the immorality or injustice of the past—it simply helps the historian understand how and why these things occurred.

5 Martin Niemöller German Lutheran pastor and theologian.
Anti-Communist who supported Hitler's rise to power at first, but when Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned. Became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler. 1937—Arrested and confined in Sachsenhausen and Dachau for "not being enthusiastic enough about the Nazi movement." 1945—released by the Allies. Continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II. To cope with his own inability to resist Hitler and Nazism, wrote about the dangers of political apathy on the part of bystanders.

6 Nazi ideology Scientific racism (codified in the Nuremburg Laws, 1933)
Racial hierarchy, Social Darwnism Superiority of the Aryan race Anti-Semitism and “Jewish materialism” as a scapegoat

7 Holocaust Systematic, state-sponsored genocide (mass murder) of six million Jews during WWII Six million = 2/3 of European Jews One million children; two million women; three million men.

8 Camps Network of 40,000 facilities in Germany and German- occupied territory used to concentrate, hold, and kill Jews and other victims, including the Romani, the disabled, homosexuals, POW’s, the Polish, and the Soviets. Carried out in phases: Exclusionary Nuremberg Laws, 1935 Concentration Camps (slave labor camps) Purging of Jews by paramilitary death squads (Einsatzgruppen) through mass shootings Extermination camps (ghettos, gas chambers)

9 Band of Brothers: Liberation of a Death Camp

10 American Response Read the Response to the Holocaust packet.
Group & Response Reasons/ motivations Analysis: Does U.S. Action or Inaction Corroborate/Contradict 4F? Is U.S. action justified in historical context? From a presentist lens? Explain.

11 Processing To what extent did American action at home during WWII corroborate or contradict the Four Freedoms articulated by FDR and Norman Rockwell?

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