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Kristallnacht Sources Questions

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Introduction

Alex Boultwood 11a History Kristallnacht Coursework. (a) Source A is a summary of an account by a journalist who was working for a Nazi paper before the war and was written in 1954. Fritz Hesse (the source author) recalls a conversation he overheard between Goebbels and Hitler at a dinner in Munich on the 9th of November. An officer whispered to Goebbels and then Goebbels communicated to Hitler the plans of a mass attack, which he and the SA intended to launch against synagogues and Jewish shops. This source shows that whilst Hitler was not involved in the planning of the attacks he knew of them, did nothing to stop them and undeniably approved of them, he was observed to have " squealed with delight and slapped his thigh with enthusiasm". When Goebbels told him what they were going to do. Source B is a secret report made by the Nazi party supreme court after the events of Kristallnact. ...read more.

Middle

Because of it's biased nature and attempt to play down the significance of the event ,it's usefulness to historians is limited. (b) Source C is written by the American Consul in Leipzig called David Buffman. He wrote his account at the time of Kristallnacht from what he had witnessed and from the interviews he carried out. He says that the violence was caused by SS men and storm troopers, that were not in uniform, but who came prepared, armed with axes, firebombs and hammers. This shows that these attacks were not spontaneous as claimed by the Nazi's, but were clearly planned. As the author is American this source can be viewed as a reliable and non-biased source. This is because America was not at war yet and therefore was not directly involved in the events. He says that the crowds of German civilians were clearly horrified by the violence perpetrated against the Jewish community, and also to witness the fire brigade only putting out the fires which had spread to German buildings. ...read more.

Conclusion

The author of Source C unlike these two is not allied to either of the parties directly involved in the events of Kristallnacht. (d) Both cartoons are against fascism. 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. The artists are symbolising the Nazis oppression of the people of Germany and how they ruled them with brute force. Source F is from a Russian newspaper and the artist is telling the Russian people that fascism is wrong and communism is moral and the best way to rule. Source G is from an anti-Nazi country, Britain. It is trying to enforce the image that Nazis are evil and are and are ruling Germany with tyranny. Therefore both sources are biased. Source G is trying to turn Britain against the Nazis perhaps in preparation for war and Source F is attempting to turn the Russian people against fascism and to make them believe communism is just. Both these cartoons support the views of the countries government (e) ...read more.

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