Week of May 19th
So, you probably had a variety of thoughts after watching The Path to Genocide documentary about the Holocaust. It’s a disturbing scenario, and one that we need to understand so we do not allow others to repeat the tragedy. How much of this information did you know prior to watching? What was the most interesting or surprising that you learned from the documentary? Why is it important that students continue to learn about the Holocaust and other injustices and genocides in general?
As you know, there were Jewish people all over the world but many were fleeing Europe as Hitler inflicted his racial cleansing policies. Some made an attempt to come to Canada. What would you expect the reaction of Canada to be to refugees fleeing from persecution in another land?
Notice I’ve asked a few questions above. Please answer those questions here.
You will research and analyze the issue of the MS St Louis ship which left left Germany carrying 907 Jewish passengers fleeing persecution by the Nazi regime, in 1939. The ship was turned away from Cuba and the United States before a group of Canadians tried to convince Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s government to let it dock in Halifax.
The Canadian government heeded the anti-Semitic sentiment abroad at the time by severely restricting Jewish immigration. From 1933 to 1945, only about 5,000 Jewish refugees were accepted because of what Trudeau called “our discriminatory, ‘none is too many’ immigration policy.”
When Ottawa refused to let the MS St. Louis passengers disembark, the ship returned to Europe.
Read through and listen to various sources of information about this ship. Then complete the following worksheet (coming soon!) which will focus on ethical judgement and historical perspective of events.
- The Prime Minister’s apology to Jewish people : MS_St_Louis_Backgrounder and Link to Video
- Another informative overview.
- A Canadian perspective by video.
- An American’s perspective on the ship.
Watch these first and then you will be walked through an analysis of historical perspective.
adapted from Pondering the Past by Peter Seixas, October 8, 2014
“People sometimes appear stupid, ignorant, weird, or all of the above.” This is a statement describing what the past actions of others might look like to those in the present-day.
It’s important to remember that some people’s whole way of experiencing the world, their whole way of thinking, and perhaps even feeling, were different in the past in ways that are hard for us to imagine.
This exercise will be using all of the evidence that we can find to put ourselves in the shoes of others. Doing this means that we need to leave behind, temporarily, some of the values and categories that shape our thinking in the twenty-first century. Taking a historical perspective does not require that we agree with people of the past or identify with them, but that we attempt to understand them.
Understanding the diversity of perspectives in any one moment is a key to understanding the events of the time. Outside of make-believe and imagination, we can never again be in 1872, or 1946, or the year of your birth. But — and this is the third big problem with the past — the past has consequences for today and for tomorrow.
However, it’s also important to remember that there are ethical considerations about actions from the past as well. Did you know that concepts like racism, sexism, and homophobia, for example, are all products of very recent times. But it would be hard to imagine an acceptable history of the Holocaust that did not take an ethical stand.
The goals in this exercise include:
- understanding the people of the past and their viewpoints
- recognizing the lessons history teaches and how it helps us to live in the present
Understanding historical perspective demands comprehension of the vast differences between us in the present and those in the past. We don’t want to judge the past with today’s standards.
At the same time, acceptable history wouldn’t treat the Nazis of Germany in a neutral manner. We should expect to learn something from the past that helps us to face the ethical issues of today.
Read and watch all relevant sources for the rejection of the MS St Louis from Canada.
Complete the two worksheets on historical perspective and for ethical judgement attached here.
Week of May 11th
Up until now, you will have handed in two assignments: a multiple choice set of questions regarding Canada’s role in World War 2 and a review of a World War 2 movie or the comments from veterans of that war. Scroll below for today’s assignment which will start with the A Path to Nazi Genocide activity sheet concerning the Holocaust, which occurred up to and during the War.
What cannot be missed during a study of World War 2 is a look at the terrible toll and crimes on innocent people around the world – civilians who died, populations who went hungry, children who lost parents, and those who were systematically victimized. The focus today will be on the tragedy we call the Holocaust – not just a victimization of Jewish people, but a genocide.
INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLOCAUST:
The Holocaust was a highly significant event, not just for World War 2, but in the entire history of humanity. It was an unprecedented attempt to murder a whole people and to extinguish its culture. The Holocaust should be studied because it fundamentally challenged the foundations of civilization. You can get an overview here as well, but continue below for your assignment.
The term, “Holocaust” refers to the specific genocidal event in 20th century history which was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945.
Jews were the primary victims—6 million were murdered; Gypsies, the mentally ill and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered oppression and death under Nazi tyranny.
Every Jewish community in occupied Europe suffered losses during the Holocaust. The Jewish communities in North Africa were persecuted, but the Jews in these countries were neither deported to the death camps, nor were they systematically murdered. The term “Final Solution” refers to Germany’s plan to murder all the Jews of Europe.
A death camp is a concentration camp with special apparatus specifically designed for systematic murder. Six such camps existed: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka. All were located in Poland.
Studying the Holocaust will help you to think about the use and abuse of power, and the roles and responsibilities of individuals, organizations, and nations when confronted with human rights violations. It should make you more aware of the potential for genocide today.
Here’s your assignment:
The documentary examines the Nazis’ rise and consolidation of power in Germany, as well as their racist ideology, propaganda, and persecution of Jews and other innocent civilians. It also outlines the path by which the Nazis led a state to war and, with their collaborators, killed millions — including systematically murdering six million Jewish people. It is intended to provoke reflection and discussion about the role of ordinary people, institutions, and nations between 1918 and 1945. It is produced by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
2. Next, let’s consider what Canada, Canadians and the Canadian government did about the Holocaust? On Monday, we will take a look at the problem of the ship called the St. Louis, which will provide insights into a deep, dark racism of the time. We will then start a project on the development of human rights protections in Canada.
3. Submit your work to Ms. Moore at her regular email address deirdre.moore @burnabyschools.ca or fromdeemoore @gmail.com .
Week of April 27th
April showers bring May flowers. This week you will examine perspectives from wartime Canadians and consider impact, views and values.
It’s easy to think of World War Two as this big global event situated in internet summaries and history textbooks. But this way, we easily miss the personal stories intertwined with this catastrophic event.
It’s critical to know how events affected ordinary people; how lives were shaped, relationships brought together and even torn apart.
Let’s continue to work understanding the global event that shaped the lives of millions, yet also influenced the everyday lives of Canadians. You will have a chance to see the war in a more personal way.
Let’s get started.
FIRST, choose A or B below. THEN, do C.
MEET VETERANS FROM WORLD WAR TWO
Go through audio and video recorded stories of veterans of World War 2 on the site “Memory Project”. Choose three, including 1 woman and subjects from different provinces/territories. Complete the activity sheet to provide biographical information, a description of their WW2 involvement for each veteran, and to answer 3 questions about impact.
WATCH A WAR MOVIE.
Choose one movie on Netflix or a provider you have access to. Ms. Moore will share her password with you if needed. Complete the activity sheet to provide a plot summary of the movie, a description of what a viewer can learn about the war from the movie, and to answer 3 questions about impact.
- Keep in mind that the nature of World War 2 is graphic. I cannot shield you from violent scenes while you watch at home. Please ask your parents if they know anything about the movie you are about to watch. If you do not like violence, please do Part A or do not choose an “R” rated movie.
List of Netflix movies available (there are others):
Gundu, The Imitation Game, The Photographer of Mauthausen, Mission of Honor, In This Corner of the World, Darkest Hour, Hitler’s Circle of Evil series, Schindler’s List…
After completing either A or B, you will complete C.
WRITE A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
For this section, you will research the WW2 topic your viewing was associated with AND THEN write a short historical overview of 100-200 words on that topic and/or timeframe. (eg. a sailor’s story may warrant an overview of the Battle of the Atlantic)
This will be one of the events that the Memory Project veteran was involved with, or the war event that the movie was centered around. This could be a battle, an “operation”, a “project”, a mobilization effort.
Sample Historical Overview:
Women Serving in the RCAF
As soon as World War Two began, Canadian women began applying pressure to the government to allow them to participate and join the war effort. With obvious manpower shortages various military establishments began opening up their ranks to women with the logic that women could perform the tasks performed by men, thus freeing them up for combat duty.
In 1941, with the government’s decision to allow the enlistment of women in the armed services the Royal Canadian Air Force established the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. It was designed to release men from administrative, clerical and other office related work in favour of women.
In the beginning, few avenues were open to women in the RCAF, however as the war raged on a total of 69 trades were made available including clerks, drivers, parachute riggers, photographers, wireless operators and even instructors.
Most women were stationed at British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and RAF training locations across Canada and Newfoundland while some were even placed overseas. Through the RCAF women could make a vital contribution to the war effort while pushing for greater recognition in the working environment.
Week of April 20th
After waaaaaaay too long, Socials 10 begins again with a re-introduction to Canada’s Role in World War 2.
Keep in mind that you had just completed work on a look at one individual event of World War 2 which had some historical significance for Canada and Canadians. You will have presented already or will be presenting your findings to Ms. Moore – email her to book a virtual time for that.
- a Google Form where you can click on the right answers and submit your answers electronically, and
- a Word_Document which you can email to Ms. Moore.
access to previous pages with work from term 2
Note that if you are looking for the Term 2 Make-up work which was previously distributed on 3-4 different pages in the menu of this website, you should click on Term 2 Make-up work tab. All the access to worksheets and previous pages are listed there. Good luck!