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Manual for Faculty
Unit 8: Out of the Ashes
(1914 to 1945)
Introduction Teaching This Unit Directions to Students Bookmarks
Directions to Students
(From the Study Guide)

Before Viewing the Show

Examine chart 2 on the world Jewish population found in this chapter of the Study Guide.

Watch for . . . and Think About

Note the portraits and photographs of Chagall, Kafka, Schoenberg, and Einstein. What does the existence of these famous people tell of the relationship of the Jews to twentieth-century European culture?

Street signs warning Jews to keep out of public and private establishments, photographs of book burnings, and location shots of Dachau will help you experience what it was like to be an outsider in Nazi culture during the 1930s. How did the Jews perceive their future in Germany at this time?

When viewing the wrenching scenes of Nazi cruelty to Jews, of degradation and mass extermination, reflect on how the Germans could wantonly destroy Jewish lives.

Pictures of daily existence in the Jewish ghettos, their cultural activities, and the Warsaw ghetto uprising show how human beings respond in the face of adversity.

While Reading the Study Guide and Source Reader
Look for the following:
  • How the German Jews fared in the aftermath of World War I and how the Russian Jews were affected by the Bolshevik revolution.
  • The cultural activities pursued by the Jews of East Central Europe.
  • How Weimar Germany disintegrated and Hitler gradually rose to power.
  • The tactics whereby Hitler eliminated the Jews from German life. Identify Nuremburg Laws, Kristallnacht.
  • The stages in the destruction of European Jewry. How did the Jews respond? Identify and be able to describe the Judenrat, the "final solution," and Nazi-controlled ghettos.
After Viewing and Reading
  • How would you compare the state of Jewish culture among the Jews of the Soviet Union with those living in East Central Europe?
  • Give examples of Jewish integration into Weimar Germany. Did some Jews seek out their Jewish roots?
  • How did the Nuremburg Laws serve to separate the Jews from Germans?
  • From which countries, in what years, and under what conditions do you find Jews traveling to Palestine and helping to build the Jewish homeland?
  • How did the Jews attempt to survive in the ghettos? Were they successful? What were their options?
  • How would you sum up the effect of the Nazi destruction on Jewish life in Europe? On the Jews? On world civilization?
Suggested Readings

Nahum Glatzer, Franz Rosenzweig: His Life and Thought (Jewish Publication Society of America, 1953)

Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (Quadrangle, 1961)

Isaiah Trunk, Judenrat (Stein and Day, 1972)

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