Discussion questions based on the app:
- Explain the meaning and the intent of the Nazis’ use of the phrases and words on both the front gate and on the top of the buildings at Dachau.
- Lee Berg, in his oral history clip, refers to the Displaced Persons Camp after liberation. How do you think it must have been to work at such a camp, given that these prisoners have been locked up for many years only to be guarded again?
- What types of emotions do you think the American soldier experienced when first coming upon camps such as these?
- Why do you think the Nazis put up little to no resistance during the liberation of Dachau?
- Why do you think these men were unable to speak about the events during liberation for so long afterward?
General discussion questions on the Holocaust:
- What is anti-semitism? How did the Nazis use historical prejudice and racism to convince people to cooperate with the discrimination against the Jewish people and other people they deemed “undesirable”?
- What is lebensraum? Why did the Nazis feel that they needed to expand their territory in order to create more “living space” for the Aryan race?
- When did the Nazis start building concentration camps? What types of camps existed and who was imprisoned in the different camps? What were the conditions of the camps?
- How do the stories, letters, and artifacts of people who experienced the Holocaust help us to understand what happened? and how we can prevent it from happening again?
- Why is it so important that we learn about the Holocaust and we remember the people who died, the people who survived, and the people who lived the experience of liberation?
Short IDsThe Holocaust
Arbeit Macht Frei
The Final Solution
Liberation (in the context of the Second World War and the Holocaust)
- Define the term holocaust. Discuss the rise of anti-Semitism and the process by which the Nazi regime enacted their plan to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe. Why did the Nazis build the concentration camps (detention, labor, and death camps)? How did they manipulate the rhetoric surrounding their plans in order to disguise their intent? Who was interned in these camps? How many people died in the camps?
- Describe the liberation of the concentration camps by U.S. troops. What was the reaction of U.S. soldiers when they first arrived at the camps? Were they prepared for what they would witness? What were the difficulties in liberation? What did they see? Who did they talk to? How did the U.S. military cooperate with other organizations, such as the Red Cross, to help those prisoners who survived this horrific experience?