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Kristallnacht - source related study.

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Introduction

A) Both sources 'A' and 'B' are useful in telling us about Kristallnacht as from these sources we can learn what Kristallnacht was and when it happened. It was the night that Jewish synagogues, shops and houses were ruined and when Jews were attacked. It is debateable which source is more useful for telling us who is responsible because the reliability of both sources comes in to question. Source 'A' is a secondary account; however it may be useful because it is based on Fritz Hesse's conversation that he witnessed between Hitler and Goebbel's which is a primary source. It is also reliable because Fritz Hesse was a Nazi working for the Nazis and we would expect a man in the Nazi party would not want the blame of Kristallnacht to be directed at the Nazis, so the fact that he is admitting that the Nazis are responsible means that he is not protecting himself which suggests that he is more truthful. The fact that Fritz Hesse wrote this account 16 years after the conversation suggests that his recollection of what he heard may be inaccurate. He is also writing at a time when the Nazi's were hated and so he may be under pressure when he was writing to give an anti-Nazi account. ...read more.

Middle

So source 'D' does not agree with source 'C' as it conveys Kristallnacht as a spontaneous event whereas source 'E' agrees with source 'C' because it portrays Kristallnacht as an organised event by the Nazis . However the information contained in either of these sources does not affect the likelihood that source 'C' is accurate. The bias of sources 'D' and 'E' means that they cannot justifiably be used to discredit source C. D) Source 'F' is a cartoon published in a Russian newspaper. The cartoon shows Nicholas II, who had encouraged attacks against Jews during his reign, saying to a Nazi that "attacking the Jews did not do me any good, my fascist friend". In source 'F' the Nazi is standing on people and their possessions holding a knife and in source 'G' the Nazi is standing over a person clasping a truncheon. Both cartoons are against fascism. The artists are symbolising the Nazis oppression of the people of Germany and how they ruled them with brute force. It is geared towards the Russian people to portray the Germans as stupid. Source 'F' is telling the Russian people that fascism is wrong and communism is moral, and the best way to rule. This is shown when it says that Nicholas II and his "family were murdered by communists" which is meant to be a positive image of the communists. ...read more.

Conclusion

But as source a was an account given when Goering was on trial for his life it would be obvious that he would do anything to clear himself so therefore source 'H' is unreliable. Source 'F' and 'G' are both cartoons about Kristallnacht. Source 'F' and 'G' both lay the blame on the Nazis but both of these sources could be unreliable. Source 'F' is unreliable because it may be, being used by the Russians to enforce the belief of communism. Source 'G' may be unreliable because the British may be trying to increase the British public's hatred for the Nazis to prepare for a war. So this suggests that both these sources are inaccurate and only being used by Russia and Britain for personal Gain. I think that overall more sources support the idea that Kristallnacht was planned by the Nazis. This is because sources 'C', 'F', 'G', 'H' and 'E' all agree that Kristallnacht was planned. The most convincing things about these sources is that the Nazis themselves blame the Nazis. Source 'E' is a Nazi view blaming the Nazis for Kristallnacht which suggests that the source is very reliable. But on the other hand sources 'F', 'G' and 'H' are all very bias and therefore unreliable. There is more evidence to suggest that Kristallnacht was planned rather than it being spontaneous. GCSE History coursework - Nazi Germany ...read more.

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