Episode 5, Over the
This episode documents the years that led up to the
beginning of World War II. From burning books to Kristallnacht,
this episode examines the anti-Semitism that eventually dominated German
thinking. It also analyses the new ways in which leaders were able to use the
technology of the twentieth century, such as the media for propaganda purposes
and offers a domestic view to the European conflict, and how and where
Americans received their information.
- Germany hosted the 1936
Summer Olympics. How did Hitler use the 1936 Olympics to promote his Nazi
- American Jesse Owens'
stunning victory in the 100-meter race angered Adolph Hitler. How did
Owens' victory shatter the Nazi propaganda about Aryan supremacy?
- Franklin Delano
Roosevelt was a master of the media. How did he use the media to do battle
in the Great Depression? How did he use the media to rally support during
World War II?
- Discuss the impact of
radio on American history and American culture in the twentieth century.
- How did Adolph Hitler
use propaganda and the media to achieve his desired goals?
- In the late 1930s, the
Nazi Party in Germany burned books. Why did they do this? How can books be
considered such a threat that some might find it necessary to burn them?
were the Nuremberg Laws? How did they affect the Jewish population of Germany
and German-occupied states?
- World War II was not
the first time anti-Semitism reared its ugly head. Discuss the history of
anti-Semitism in Europe.
- England and its Prime
Minister, Neville Chamberlain, seemed to appease Hitler. Why did they
choose this passive strategy?
- What was Kristallnacht? What prompted this show of Nazi
- Why did the United States
refuse to let the St. Louis
dock in the United
States and allow its passengers to
- How did the Americans
view the war in Europe (starting in 1939), and how would it affect the
America at home?
- What was the Lend-Lease
policy (between the U.S. and Britain)?
- When did the draft
start in the United States (to prepare for World War II), and in what
condition was the U.S. military prior to WWII?
- Research Life magazine
published during the years of the Great Depression and illustrate how it
gave Americans a pictorial account of the depression.
- Imagine that you are a
Jew in Hitler's Germany. Keep a diary or journal that tells of your
emotions and experiences.
- Create a poster
advertising the historic boxing match between American Joe Louis and
German Max Schmelling.