Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Kurt Rose
1. In the transcript, Kurt tells of his father’s hurt: “He fought for Germany in World War I for four years with untold suffering and deprivation, and then when Hitler came to power he got his thanks, ‘You’re not really a good German,’ he was told. And the Jewish war veterans of course tried to combat that and show everybody that yes, they were patriotic, they loved the Fatherland.”
Using a Concept of Definition Word Map (template example can be found at this link http://www.readingquest.org/strat/cdmap.html), work in small groups mapping these terms: German, Nazi, WW I Jewish Veteran. Compare the properties, illustrations, etc. from each mapped term. (*Note: the comparison term is the opposite or an antonym of the term). In a class discussion, use the results from each group’s work, talk about what it meant to be a “good German” and how this differed from the Nazi point of view and from a Jewish Veteran’s point of view.
2. Click on the link below to read the following excerpt from the transcript of Kurt’s interview and brainstorm together about the propaganda that would have had to be used to convince non-Jewish students to change their attitude(s) and behavior toward a Jewish classmate who was once a friend. Discuss examples of “propaganda” in the media today and whether or not it influences attitudes toward people, shopping and/or eating preferences, acceptable behaviors, etc. This link to the USHMM website is a good resource: http://www.ushmm.org/propaganda/
3. When Kurt talked about the cruel treatment he received from his classmates he summed everything up by referring to the bullying as, “pranks based on hatred.” Why do you think that Kurt downplayed the abuse he received as a teenager? Write your ideas out using evidence from the interview provided below.
4. One of the many questions posed by those who read of the horrors committed by the Nazis during WW II is: Why didn’t the United States and other countries do something? Didn’t they know? As you read excerpts from the transcript of Kurt Rose’s interview below, cite evidence that supports knowledge by the International community of the dangers for Jewish citizens under Hitler’s government before the start of World War II. What were the requirements for relatives to come to the USA to live during this time? Use the transcript and resource links below:
- U. S. Department of Immigration for current requirements at: http://www.uscis.gov/i-130
- Post WW I: http://www.uscis.gov/history-and-genealogy/our-history/agency-history/mass-immigration-and-wwi
- WW II: http://www.uscis.gov/history-and-genealogy/our-history/agency-history/world-war-ii
5. At the close of the film interview (8:02), Kurt talks about the importance of fighting antisemitism. After listening to his comments, list ways that your community is working toward eliminating discriminatory practices toward minority groups. Create a list of those groups who are “marginalized” in your community and school. What is being done to help eliminate and avoid bullying and discrimination toward these groups?