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Why did Kristallnacht take place? Source based work.

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Introduction

Nazi Germany-Why did Kristallnacht take place? a) Study sources A and B. Which of these two sources would an historian studying Kristallnacht find the more useful? A historian studying Kristallnacht would find both the sources useful because, in history, everything is useful and important: even opinions. Source A shows that Goebbels planned Kristallnacht to try and impress Hitler and therefore try and win his support back. Source B implies that the German public performed the acts of Kristallnacht and suggests that Hitler wasn't involved. Source A is a 'summary' and therefore a reinterpreted recap of the events of Kristallnacht. Also, it was written in 1954 making it less reliable because it was written 16 years after the event and therefore ones memory may be blurred. Fritz Hesse was a journalist, present at the time of Kristallnacht and worked for the Nazis, who are more likely to defend the Party. The view given is Source A, however completely contradicts what the Nazis said at the time. This makes it more truthful. However, Source B seems slightly more reliable- it was from a secret report prepared by the Nazi Supreme Court. Therefore it gives the true Nazi point of view due to the fact that it is secret and not meant to be read; there is no need to lie. Therefore, overall, think that the both the sources are reliable but the most useful source would be Source b. I think that this is because there aren't many reliable and truthful Nazi points of view that hasn't been censored around the time of Kristallnacht. b.) Study Source C. What impression of Kristallnacht does source c give? Explain your answer. From source C, I get the impression that the SS and the stormtroopers carried out the violence of Kristallnacht. ...read more.

Middle

It also symbolises that the German people don't go along with the Nazi ideas but they cannot do anything. The stormy clouds in the sky show discontent. Similarities between the two sources are that violence is common among the Nazis and that the events of Kristallnacht are their doings. However, the most obvious similarity is that both of these sources blame the Nazis for Kristallnacht. The differences of these two sources are that source F is Russian and source G is English. This is important as these are two very different cultures and different cultures do not always interpret the same things correctly. Also, source F shows the Nazi's looting of the Jews possessions and source G is trying to get the point across that the German public are defenceless. I know this because in source G, the German citizen who is tied up and gagged is the focus of the cartoon and the Nazi officer and dead Jew are in the background. I think that the two sources are fairly similar because they are both trying to get the point across that the Nazis are responsible for Kristallnacht and this is the focus of agreement for both sources. e.) Study sources H and I . How far does source I prove that Goering was telling the truth in source H? Source I proves that Goering was telling the truth in source H to a certain extent. Source H blames Goebbels for Kristallnacht "it was not acceptable to me that he should upset my difficult economic tasks by destroying so much Jewish property of economic value and by causing so much disturbance in economic life". This suggests Goerings anger at Goebbels for wasting so much. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that this source disagrees with the quote because Goering is blaming Goebbels for kristallnacht, and, Goebbels being part of the Nazi party, proves that Kristallnacht was a Nazi-related event. Source I tells us that Hitler disapproved with Kristallnacht, and that he was definitely not pleased with the person who organised it. Hitler never wanted it to happen. This source is fairly reliable because there is nothing to suggest that it is lies. However, a factor of unreliability is that it is reported over 30 years later by Frau Troost in an interview. This suggests that she may have had a lapsed memory. I have learned that Frau Troost was a close friend of Hitler's and in theory, as a close friend, she would deny anything with Hitler being involved in Kristallnacht to try and defend him. I believe that this source indicates that neither the German people nor the nazi party was involved with Kristallnacht. In conclusion, I think that kristallnacht was not a 'spontaneous event by the German people'. This is because only three out of the nine sources supports this claim. There is far more evidence in the sources that Goebbels organised Kristallnacht with the SS and the SA in order to impress Hitler who he was out of favour with. However, Source A, Source G and Source I clearly show that Hitler did not approve of it "he agreed that such events must not be allowed to take place". I have also learnt that Hitler didn't discourage Kristallnacht once it had taken place "Hitler squealed with delight and slapped his leg with enthusiasm", and in Source B "such demonstrations were not to be organised by the party, but neither were they discouraged". Therefore, I think that the statement 'Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people' is untrue and the vast majority of the sources do not support this claim. ...read more.

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