Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Leon May

  1. Identify two choices Leon made in response to the events of the Holocaust. What was the context for these decisions?
  2. Read “Nazi Racism” using the link below. Then look at the chart illustrating the Nuremberg Laws. When you study the poster you will notice that the Nazi’s considered someone to be Jewish if either parent was Jewish, however Jewish Law is based on the maternal line therefore someone is not considered Jewish according to the Jewish religious laws if their mother is not Jewish.  Discuss why considering Judaism a race, rather than a religion, would help achieve the goals of Hitler and the Third Reich. How did the Nuremberg Racial Laws influence the May family to help friends and relatives to escape?

    (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2017, from,,

  3. Leon’s father was active in the Zionist movement, which wanted to establish a geographic location for a secure and self-governing Jewish nation. He and young Leon attended the first World Zionist Congress. Later Leon would realize that many people there returned to Europe and were murdered soon after, because they were Jews. Read Leon’s memory of the event in his transcript, and discuss the mood of the delegates to that Congress, based on the quote. Does the work that the World Jewish Congress did in 1939 to establish the State of Israel in 1948 still have relevance and importance today?

    Excerpt from Leon May’s Testimony