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Study all the sources.

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Introduction

Question F Study all the sources. "Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people". How far do the sources support this claim? Source A is a summary of Fritz Hesse's account of a dinner with Hitler. Hesse was a journalist for the Nazis. He wrote his account in 1954. Source A tells us that it was the Nazis and Goebbles who were planning the attacks on the Jews. It then goes on to say that Hesse overheard Goebbles telling Hitler about the mass attacks that he and the SA men were going to carry out against the Jews. The source also tells us that Hitler was delighted about the plans, and that he "slapped his thigh with enthusiasm". A concern with source A is that Fritz Hesse did not write his account until 1954, which was 16 years after the event. Although it would have been an important event in Hesse's life, it would be highly unlikely that he could have remembered the event as vividly as it is wrote. This can make the information unreliable as Hesse could have forgotten information or wrongly remembered it. Another concern would be that Hesse only heard Goebbles whispering to Hitler. This means that he might not have heard the whole conversation, and could have made his own mind up about what they were talking about. ...read more.

Middle

Source D is a description of the events in the weeks before Kristallnacht. It was written in 1938, by a German Jew. There are concerns about the reliability of the source. A major concern is that it was written by a German Jew. This means that it could be biased towards the Jews. This fact makes the source less reliable. The source implies that it was the German citizens who carried out the acts of terror against the Jews. It tells us that in the weeks before Kristallnacht there had been conflict and unrest amongst the masses. This agrees with the claim "Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people", as it is implying that it was the German people. Source E was a note signed "a civil servant". It was sent to the British consul in Cologne on the 12th November, 1938. The reliability of the source could be questioned as the writer of it is anonymous. Therefore we cannot check the reliability of the source with him. In the source it tells us of the destruction and violence that was caused by the Nazis and the SA men. This disagrees with the statement of "Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people" as it says that the Nazis were to blame. ...read more.

Conclusion

In source I it tells us that Hitler was annoyed with the events of kristallnacht because they destroyed German property as well as his plans with the French. This implies that Hitler was not to blame for kristallnacht. A major concern that we can see right away is that Frau Troost did not give her account of the conversation with Hitler until 1971. This is 33 years after the events of kristallnacht. This means that it would be very unlikely that she could have remembered the conversation accurately. She might have remembered the conversation though as it would have been a special occasion for her. She could have simply made the whole thing up just because she wanted the fame and money from the interviewer, as people wanted to know about the life of Hitler and would pay for it. Overall source I agrees with the claim "Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people", as it says that Hitler was not happy with the events of Kristallnacht, therefore implies that it was the German people and not the Nazis. Despite this, most of the sources disagree with the statement "Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people", which leads us to the conclusion that it was the Nazi's that carried out the events of Kristallnacht. Only sources I, B and D agree that the blame was at the doorstep of the German people. 1 Connor Richardson 10ws ...read more.

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