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Hitler as dictator

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

Social Sciences

HISTORY

Grade 9

HUMAN RIGHTS DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Module 2

Hitler as dictator

LEARNING ACTIVITY 1:

  • Study the sources provided below and answer the questions that follow them:

SOURCE A: Hitler, at the time of his trial in München, 1923.

A man who is born to be a leader may not be reticent, because his task is to move ahead.

SOURCE B: From a Nazi biography

“I am unable to describe the emotions that flow through me when I hear Hitler speak. When he speaks about the humiliation of Germany, I want to rush onto the enemy. His appeal to German courage was an appeal to take up arms as well, his news was the gospel, the announcement of good tidings. I forgot everything besides this man. When I looked around me, I noticed that his magnetism had captured thousands around me. The intensity of his will, the passion of his honesty had entered into me. I had an experience that could be compared to a Biblical conversion.”

SOURCE C: Hitler, as described by H. Rauschnigg,

a German writer who knew him well, 1939

“If I do not have the inner conviction that I am doing the right thing, I will not do anything, not even if the whole of the Nazi Party tries to force me into action.”

SOURCE D: Oath taken by all officers of the German army subsequent to Hitler becoming Führer in 1934

“I hereby declare unconditional loyalty to the Führer of the German Empire and Nation, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the army, and I am prepared, as a courageous soldier, to lay down my life for this oath.”

SOURCE E:Report on a meeting between Hitler and his general staff, November 1937. The generals complained that Hitler’s plans were too risky. Complaining generals were dismissed.

‘Germany’s problems can only be solved by violent means. Our first objective is the simultaneous overthrow of Austria and Czechoslovakia to thereby make it possible to withstand the threat of a combined action from France and Britain. While the rest of the world is preparing their defenses, we must act offensively. Germany has a right to greater living space in Europe. It is Hitler’s determined objective to solve the German land issue no later than 1943-45.’

SOURCE F: Announcement, Hitler, February 1938.

“From here on I take personal command of all German armed forces.”

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Study Sources A and B. Identify the character traits and skills that could be employed by Hitler as a dictator.

2. What do we learn about Hitler’s position in Germany from Sources C and D?

3. By having another look at Source G and using what you have learnt, explain what did not go according to plan for Hitler.

4. Which characteristic of a dictator is revealed in Source D?

Assessment

Learning outcomes (LOs)

LO 1

Historical investigation

The learner is able to use research skills to investigate both the present and the past.

Assessment standards (ASs)

We know this when the learner:

1.1 investigates a topic by asking key questions and identifies a variety of relevant sources to explore this topic [finding sources];

1.2 asks significant questions to evaluate the sources (e.g. to identify bias and stereotypes, omissions and gaps) [working with to sources];

1.3 analyses the information in sources [working with sources];

1.4 presents an independent line of argument in answering questions posed, and justifies (using evidence) the conclusions reached [answering the question];

1.5 communicates knowledge and understanding by constructing own interpretation and argument based on the historical sources; uses information technology where available and appropriate [communicating the answer].

LO 2

Knowledge and Understanding of History

The learner is able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of history.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 places events, people and changes in the periods of history studied within chronological framework [chronology and time];

2.2 identifies categories of cause and effect (e.g. immediate and long-term, direct and indirect) [cause and effect];

2.3 explains and analyses the reasons for and results of events in history [cause and effect];

2.4 recognises that change and development does not always mean progress [change and continuity].

LO 3

Interpretation of History

The learner is able to interpret aspects of history.

We know this when the learner:

3.1 understands the contested nature of content, and that historians construct histories when writing about events from the past [source interpretation];

3.2 constructs an interpretation based on sources, giving reasons for own interpretation [source interpretation];

3.3 analyses issues which influence the way history has been written [influences on interpretation];

3.4 explains the ways in which symbols are used to remember events and people from the past, and how oral histories can contribute to our understanding of the symbols [representation of the past].

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