The Rise of Hitler and Early Policies of Antisemitism Under the Third Reich


The purpose of the this lesson is for students to make connections about the far-reaching effects that the Great Depression and the Treaty of Versailles had on the German people and the political struggle for democracy which failed in Germany during the interwar years. Students will learn that Antisemitism was not a new phenomenon in Germany, and that it was encouraged in the media under the growing influence during the rise of the Hitler and the Nazi Party in the early 1920s.

Essential Questions

  1. How did the political and economic conditions of the 1930s lead to the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich?

  2. After coming to power, what actions did Hitler take to restrict the civil rights of German-Jews and other political foes beginning in 1933?

  3. How did the media affect German perception of the Jewish population during the interwar years?

    Massachusetts State Frameworks:

    WHII.21 Describe the rise and goal of totalitarianism In Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union, and analyze the Policies and ideas of Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin.(H)

    WHII. 26 Describe the background, course, and consequences of the Holocaust, including its roots in the long tradition of Christian Antisemitism, 19th century ideas about race and nation, and Nazi dehumanization of the Jews. (H)


Prior to this lesson students will have discussed and charted the differences between the Totalitarian dictators: Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin using this handout.
Students will have also completed the right side of the Content-Response Notes for Chapter 13.4 on the rise of Hitler and early policies under the Third Reich.

Beer Hall Putsch
The time in prison was far from harsh. His wing on the second floor was named...
The time in prison was far from harsh. His wing on the second floor was named...

"Mein Kampf" was dictated by Hitler to his personal secretary, Rudolph Hess, during his time spent in Lansberg Prison for his part in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The putsch had intended to overthrow the newly formed Weimar Republic government which many blamed for signing the Treaty of Versailles. For this part in the putsch, Hitler was sentenced to 5 years in prison.....he was out of jail in December of 1924. During his sentence, he was able to wear his own clothes and have many visitors as well and could walk the grounds of the castle/prison.
Mein Kampf

Map of German Losses - Post WWI
Summarizing paragraph - Lebensraum - Where will it be? Why does Hitler feel entitled to this land? How is this land tied with WWI and the Treaty of Versailles?

external image stab-in-the-back_cartoon_1924-tm.jpg?resize=400%2C245
external image stab-in-the-back_cartoon_1924-tm.jpg?resize=400%2C245

Most accounts of the end of World War I and the origins of World War II contain some discussion of the “stab in the back,” the claim that the German army had not been defeated but was betrayed by the civilian leadership. This wasn’t merely a Nazi propaganda line, either – many Germans heading home from France, Belgium, Romania, Italy, Russia, etc. really did believe it. Never mind the facts. The military leaders had told the Kaiser that the army and navy would no longer support him; naval mutineers had refused to fight any more; the army high command had sought the armistice before Allied armies hit German soil; and the home front was literally starving and rioting. Nevertheless, the legend of the “stab in the back” became darn near holy writ. So, while the Nazis didn’t create the “stab in the back” legend, they certainly exploited it to devastating effect.
Get the real story!
Read Chapter 13.4 - Get the Gists ++Main Ideas
  • Hitler Gains Power
  • Hitler Controls Germany
Choose your own method Take notes, use crocodoc to mark up the text, make your own graphic organizer- put this on your Rise of Hitler page
......Hitler Seizes Power - Rise to Power
Germany During the Great Depression

Reasons People Embraced Totalitarianism During Interwar Years

Internal turmoil
Weak government
Broken Economy
Dreams of former glory
Restoration of order
Internal Turmoil - Nazi SA & SS gaining popularity
Weimar Republic - had formed after the Kaiser abdicated
Reparations - agreed to in Treaty of Versailles - Loans from US
Promises of a greater German Union or Third Reich
German people longed for the days of the Kaiser & Bismarck


Defining : Fascism or Nazism ( in Germany called National Socialism)


Check out & judge Hitler's artwork for yourself! _bad _ok_good_great You decide!
Hitler's Artwork
Hitler's Paintings

Antisemitism in Hitler's Germany Pre- World War II

Opener: Read the quotes and add a comment to the wall

-Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf 1923

Activity: Voicethread

German magazine "Der Sturmer" Published 1923-1945 editor Julius Streicher

Make comments at least 2 of the political cartoons using one or more of the following methods:
  • Typed comments
  • Microphone
  • Webcam
  • Cellphone

In a less "technical" classroom, students can add comments via cellphone or type their responses using the teacher computer. This visual will also be added to their tradtional notebooks.

Childrens Anti-Semitic Stories

Collection of children's stories written by Ernst Heimer who was Julius Streicher's right hand man
German Propaganda
Nazi Propaganda Link - Calvin Edu
"Triumph of the Will" Hitler Youth
Beginning of longer documentary "Hitler Youth"

Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Possible? Probable?You Decide....

Salem State Holocaust Lesson- Children's Literature + Additional Assessment
Example of Narrative

Mark up of Hitler's Emergency Decree/Reichstag Fire in 1933 and Reichstag Election 1933 Results

Mark up of Goebbels' Quote & Image - Book Burning

Activity: Nuremberg Laws Concept Map - OR rewrite them on the handout

Read and rewrite the most important sections of the Nuremberg Laws as stated in the document from the "Jewish Virtual Library" in a map titled Nuremberg Laws of 1935.

Nuremberg Law for Protection of Hereditary Health
This law put into effect in July, 1933 sets the wheels in motion for the elimination of those who would pass on inherited conditions. These laws are sanctioned by the medical community and are aimed at freeing the Third Reich of those who are deemed unfit to propagate the "Master Race". This decree includes people who are otherwise seen as Germanic and sought their cooperation either voluntary or involuntary.

Homework: Summarizing paragraph(s): What rights do the Jewish people of Germany have? What are their options? What would you do if you were in their shoes?

Opener: Kristallnacht Order - Think/Write/Pair/Share - Mark up the documents using

Activity: Create a short presentation(Google Presentation, SlideRocket or Animoto) to show the what took place during Kristallnacht November 9-10, 1938. Include in your presentation.

  • a map that shows the extent of places affected during Kristallnacht
  • photos approx. 8-10(total of 12 slides w/ title page & web credits) of the events of various aspects of Kristallnacht
  • Watch/Read/ then report on one of the interviews included in this link regarding what happened on that night as told by survivors
  • Write down your Comments, Connections, Questions, Predictions - in a video journal chart on just one clip (Mini-video-dialectical -journal) put this on your wiki page
  • witness to Kristallnacht

  • What does each dot tell us?
    What does each dot tell us?
  • Homework: Reflection -

  • After having viewed the photos and watching the interview,what have you learned about the events of Kristallnacht? Describe your feelings.

Graphic Organizer Timeline of the Early Acts of Legislation of Hitler

Were theses actions legal? Against the Treaty of Versailles? Antisemitic? Or all of the above? How do these actions/events exemplify the steps to genocide?

The Final Solution Evolves
Wannsee Protocol
Map of Einsatzgruppen Squad Activities
Babi Yar 33,000+ Mass Graves
Survivor Story: Babi Yar - Printer friendly version
List of Major & Minor Concentration Camps
Major Camp - Classifications
Law for Sterilization

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising- Jewish Resistance 1943
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising- Summary
Jews captured during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Poland, April 19-May 16, 1943.
Jews captured during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Poland, April 19-May 16, 1943.

Eyewitness-Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Einsatzgruppen Prosecutor - Nuremberg
Overview of Nuremberg -4.28 - Facing History
Example of an NHD project from last year
NHD Project

Legacy PDF links