Hitler’s Restrictions Against The Jews 1933 – 1945
This activity comes from Ann Moore, former SHP Fellow, author of Special Needs material for John Murray/ Hodder Education and of SHPs KS3 book The Holocaust and a contributor to the work of the Holocaust Education Trust.
Here’s Ann’s explanation.
Twenty years ago, in 1993, two Berlin-based artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock inaugurated their “Places of Remembrance” memorial for a former Jewish district of West Berlin known as the Bavarian Quarter. They wanted to remind people of how German Jews had been treated in the 1930s and 1940s. They lived in the area of Berlin that had largely been populated by Jews before Hitler’s rise to power. All around the area they erected 80 metal signs on lamp posts. On one side of each sign was a simple graphic image of an everyday object. On the other, without any comment at all was a law relating to that object, written in archaic German, to remind people of Hitler’s ideal of the Third German Reich.
In 1996, Paul Oppenheimer, a survivor of the Holocaust, visited Berlin and came across this exhibition and bought a book containing all the images. The Head of German in a Leamington secondary school translated all the laws from the archaic German, free of charge. She felt that this was her contribution to the forthcoming Anne Frank Exhibition to be held in Warwickshire.
These resources have since been used extensively both as stand - alone resources with the Anne Frank Exhibition , as a part of the 1997 John Murray Special Needs Resource Pack ‘The Twentieth Century World’ and the SHP 2003 Key Stage 3 Depth Study ‘The Holocaust’.
This most recent update contains new graphics.
Print, photocopy and laminate a complete set of restrictions. (Teachers may wish to print two sets so that groups can be smaller)
The Lesson Plan
‘How did the Jews of Germany suffer once Hitler came to power in 1933?’
To understand how Jews were persecuted between 1933 and 1945
To consider how the anti-Jewish restrictions destroyed Jews’ ability to resist Nazi oppression and discrimination
Divide the class into four / eight groups. Give each group a different set of cards. On each card is a description of what Hitler did to the German Jews during his time as Chancellor of Germany.
• Group A & E take the set of cards for the period from March 1933 to August 1936,
• Group B & F for the period from April 1937 to December 1938,
• Group C & G for the period January 1939 to September 1941
• Group D & H for the period January 1942 to February 1945.
a) Places the cards in chronological order on the table and spends a little time reading each card
b) Decides as a group which restriction seems to them the most shocking, records their decision on a large sheet of paper and explains underneath why they thinks it was so shocking
c) Groups do the same for the restriction that they think was
i) most petty
ii) would affect adults most seriously
iii) would affect children most seriously
Groups feed back to the rest of the class
Groups select from their cards those restrictions that denied Jews access to the law and place them chronologically in a prominent part of the classroom
Class discussion on the following key questions:
1 What do they observe about the dates and nature of these restrictions?
2 How would these restrictions have affected Jews abilities to exercise their rights as German citizens?
Groups do the same with the restrictions that led to great economic hardship (including hunger and malnutrition), placing them chronologically underneath the first list
Class discussion on the following
3 How might these economic restrictions prevent Jews from leaving Germany?
Groups do the same with the restrictions that a) denied Jews access to education and b) intellectual or creative stimulus.
Class discussion on the following
4 How might these restrictions affect the opinion that other Germans had of their Jewish countrymen?
Each group selects the one restriction that, in their opinion was the most devastating for the Jews and, in one sentence explains why they have chosen that restriction.
‘How do you think young Jewish teenagers growing up in Germany during the 1930s would have coped with the situation they found themselves in?
This is an activity that lends itself well to mixed ability groups but, if necessary, children with special needs could be given those cards that affected Jewish children most seriously and explain why it would have been so hard for them.