John (Jack) ChristensenMAT 601 WebquestEssential Question: How does setting affect the characters in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief?Target Grade Level: 10th Grade EnglishObjective: Students will be able to analyze the factors that lead to the Holocaust as well as lookat resistance to Nazi Germany by exploring different websites and completing various activities. 1. In The Book Thief, Liesel is a voracious reader despite the fact that many books are banned or censored. Explore the following webpage and analyze the poem at the bottom of the page. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/censorship_in_nazi_germany.htm a. Why was this poem banned in Nazi Germany? b. How did censoring material help promote Nazi Germany? 2. Liesel and Rudy are both enlisted into Hitler’s Youth as children. At the bottom of this webpage, http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/hitleryouth/hj-timeline.htm, there is a section on mottos and oaths from Hitler’s Youth meetings. Analyze the quotes and sayings in this section. a. After reading this information, why is it important to Papa that Liesel not say anything negative about the Fuhrer? b. Why was it important to Nazi Germany to indoctrinate young children with their ideas?
3. Papa and Liesel receive a copy of Mein Kamf the book discusses Nazi doctrine and creeds. Examine the excerpts on the following page http://www.allgreatquotes.com/mein_kampf_quotes.shtml. You’ll need to scroll down to see the quotes. a. Why is it symbolic that Liesel paints over the pictures of Mein Kamf? b. Speculate what would happen to Liesel and her family if it were discovered that they destroyed a copy of Mein Kamf.4. Watch the following youtube video on different speeches made by Nazi officials in regards to the Jews http://youtu.be/14kcoNEUw3M. a. Imagine being a Jew in Nazi Germany. How would this rhetoric make you feel? b. Why do you think Max decided to go into hiding?5. In Liesel’s world, Jews were looked at unfavorably by nearly everyone in her town. Look at the following images and read the captions below them. http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/arts/ARTPROP.HTM a. Why did Germans have a negative view of Jews? b. How does media affect public perception?6. Not only were pamphlets and information spread through National Party meetings, schools taught negative views of Jews as well. Look at the following story that was taught in schools. http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/story2.htm a. Why was this negative view of Jews taught in schools? b. Should we believe everything taught to us? Why or why not?
7. Liesel and her family take a Jewish man (Max) into their home at great personal risk. Read the following web page on rescuers: http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/people/rescuer.htm a. According to this webpage, people helped Jewish people for various reasons. What do you think the motivations of Liesel and her family were for taking Max in?8. After completing the above activity, complete the following quiz on rescuers: http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/people/rescuer5.htm a. Is bullying ever acceptable? Is being a bystander to bullying ever acceptable?9. Liesel’s home is bombed by Allied airplanes. Look at the following picture of a German town after a bombing: https://imagelib.sussex.ac.uk/gallery2/v/pressandcomms/Bombed_german_town_in_the_ rhine_area.jpg.html. a. Imagine that Salt Lake City were bombed like the picture you just viewed. Write a paragraph on how the city would be different.10. At the end of the book Liesel is reunited with Max. Watch the following video of a Holocaust survivor. http://youtu.be/1PHPd67kYp0 a. How will life be different for Max after the Holocaust? b. How will it be different for Liesel?
Answer Key1. Censorship a. This poem was banned in Nazi Germany because it speaks negatively of authority or people in power. b. By censoring material, Nazi Germany was able to promote their ideas and beliefs without the competition of others with opposing views.2. Hitler’s Youth a. It is important to Papa that Liesel not say anything negative of the Fuhrer because to many people the Fuhrer is viewed as a god. Papa is trying to protect Liesel and his family by encouraging her not to say anything negative. b. If you can brainwash young people to believe something, there is a good chance they will continue believing it for the rest of their lives.3. Mein Kamf a. It is significant or symbolic that Liesel white washes the pages of Mein Kamf because, in a way, she is rejecting the material within the book and subscribing to a different belief system. b. If Liesel and her family were discovered, they would probably be killed or sent to concentration camps.4. Nazi Rhetoric a. If I were a Jew and saw this sort of rhetoric I would be terrified for my life. I would want to flee the country and get as far away from Nazi Germany as possible. b. Max went into hiding almost certainly because he was afraid for his life. He had no other alternative but to try and hide.5. Propaganda a. Germans had a negative view of Jews because their leaders and media all vilified the Jews and made them a scapegoat for all of Germany’s problems b. Media affects public perception in many ways. Oftentimes, if people read or see something they hold that belief to be true. By spreading media to German people, the Nazi Party helped vilify the Jews while strengthening their own cause.6. School room propaganda a. Schools taught principals in an effort to indoctrinate their students and the future generation of Germany. b. We should take everything we learn with a grain of salt. We should look at opposing views and determine how relevant a piece of information is.7. Rescuers a. Liesel’s family took Max into their home for multiple reasons. But I feel the main reason was because they had charity. They wanted to help him because he had no where else to go.8. Bullying a. Being a bystander to bullying is never acceptable. Many of the rescuers helped Jews despite great personal risk to themselves.9. Imagining a. As I walk down the streets of Salt Lake I find it difficult to pinpoint where I am. The visual makers of buildings and trees that I’m used to seeing are gone and
litter the street. The air is filled with the smell of smoke and burning flesh and all I hear are the moans of people wanted to die from grief or pain.10. Survivor a. Max will feel both guilty and thankful for having lived through the Holocaust. He will forever be grateful to be alive and to have survived, but he will also feel pain for those who died around him. b. Liesel will be forever changed as well. She will see death as part of life but she will also continue to have a firm aversion to power.