Was opposition to Nazi rule completely ineffective?

In our last lesson, we explored the different sources of resistance to the Nazi regime from within Germany. In this lesson, we will be assessing two historical interpretations about this resistance to decide if it was effective or ineffective.

You can download the worksheet for today’s lesson here. If you are unable to download the worksheet, please complete the tasks in the yellow boxes below.

STARTER:
Look at the continuum lines below. Place a cross on each one to show how effective you feel each form of resistance was to the Nazi regime.

TASK ONE: Differences between interpretations.

Let’s have a look at the two interpretations we are working with today. They give different views about the effectiveness of the resistance from the German Churches.

What is the main difference between these views? (In other words, what don’t the interpretations agree on?).
Interpretation 1 argues…
A detail in the interpretation that shows me this is…
On the other hand, Interpretation 2 argues…
A detail in the interpretation that shows me this is…

Interpretation 1: From Life Under the Nazis, by J. Ritchie, 1996.

“The Nazis faced large amounts of opposition, most notably from the Church. Martin Niemoller and his Pastors Emergency League created a clear and obvious rejection of Nazi policy and this in turn meant Christians abandoned the Nazi Party”.

Interpretation 2: From The Nazi Dictatorship, by Ian Kershaw, 1985.

“The Churches offered less than fundamental resistance to Nazism. Their energies were used in opposing Nazi interference with their traditional practices. This was not matched by equally vigorous denunciation of Nazi inhumanity and barbarism”.

TASK TWO: What affect does language in historical interpretations have?

One thing that we haven’t looked at yet is language used within historical interpretations. This can be a really useful tool for understanding interpretations, and can really aid your 16-mark writing in the Nazi Germany paper. It’s just like doing poetry work in English.

Watch the video below and then answer the following question:

How does the language used in Interpretation 1 help the historian’s overall argument?

TASK THREE: How far do you agree with Interpretation 2 about the impact of opposition towards the Nazi Party? [16 marks]

This is a 16-mark style question in the Nazi Germany paper, and I feel like we can make a lot of improvements here as a class. Let’s use what we’ve already done in this lesson to help us answer this question.

Watch the video and follow the structure below carefully to help you answer the question.

In the video, half the question is completed for you.

STRUCTURE GUIDE for TASK THREE

Paragraph 1: State the view given by Interpretation 2 using evidence from the interpretation itself. Also make sure you are discussing how the interpretation conveys its message (look at evidence, statistics and language).
Interpretation 2 argues that… because…
The interpretation conveys this by… (now discuss evidence, language and statistics).

Paragraph 2: Agree with this interpretation by using evidence that you already know. Include a counter-argument if you are going for top marks.
Furthermore, one may agree with Interpretation 2 as it is consistent with my knowledge…
However, the interpretation can be challenged because…

Paragraph 3: Disagree with Interpretation 2 by using evidence from Interpretation 1. Follow the same steps as paragraph 1.
However Interpretation 1 challenges the view given by Interpretation 2 because…
The interpretation conveys this by(now discuss evidence, language and statistics).

Paragraph 4: Disagree with Interpretation 2 by backing up Interpretation 1 with your own knowledge. Include a counter-argument if you are going for top marks.
Furthermore, one may agree with Interpretation 1 more than Interpretation 2 because it is consistent with my knowledge…
However, Interpretation 1 could be challenged because…

Conclusion: Conclude by making a final judgement on how far you agree with Interpretation 2.
Overall, I partially agree/agree to a great extent with Interpretation 2 because…

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