Veit Stoss Altarpiece, Cracow Poland
The decision to enter into war is usually justified by a set of ideological beliefs particular to a specific context. The vision of Aryan supremacy outlined in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (my struggle) served as the driving ideology behind Nazi aggression. It is scrutinized from the perspective of its mission to destroy personal and group identities and to simultaneously expand German territory. In this lesson, students evaluate Nazi actions against its enemies through an evaluation of the assault on objects and place. Students will first assess the importance of objects and place in the construction of their own identities. They will use their understanding to evaluate the impact of the loss of objects and place suffered by Hitler’s targets. Students will also understand how the attack on objects and place simultaneously supported other Nazi goals.
This lesson plan is available as part of The Greatest Theft in History Educational Program. We’ll regularly be adding more teaching aids, interviews, photos, archival footage and other valuable information.