1. Hitler demanded that the nation produce a “violently active, dominating,
intrepid, brutal youth.” What part did the schools play in carrying out that
The schools taught the students to live a military lifestyle. Everything was
very structured. Everything they did, they did mechanically. The games they
played as children were war type games. They exercised and marched and
2. Write a working definition of the word indoctrinate. How does it differ from
the word educate? How did Hitler indoctrinate young Germans? Why did
he focus his efforts on them rather than on their parents?
To indoctrinate is to “teach to accept a system of thought uncritically”. To
educate is to “provide information, to inform”. Indoctrinate differs from
educate because when you indoctrinate, you dont allow room for debate or
questioning, whereas when you educate you allow room for thinking and
exploration. Hitler indoctrinated young Germans by limiting their
knowledge of the past and of what was really going on in the present. There
was no room for different thought in Hitlers schools. Hitler concentrated
his efforts on children rather than adults because when people are young
they can be molded easily. As a person gets more life experience, their
mindset gets more concrete and inflexible.
3. Describe the messages a child would hear in Nazi Germany. How would
those messages affect the way he/she viewed the world? How does such an
atmosphere turn hatred into a habit?
Children in Germany were bombarded with the fact that Hitler was the
savior of Germany. Therefore, everything Hitler said had to be true, had to
be right. Both the hate and the superiority messages combined made
Germany magnificent and the rest of the world inferior. Children were
taught to be extremely ethnocentric. That sort of atmosphere turns hatred
into a habit because whenever those children see something that isnt like
themselves they are automatically hostile to it.
4. Why is Peter Becker not sure of what he would have done if he had been
assigned as a guard at a death camp? What do you think he would have
Peter Becker is not sure of what he would have done if he were assigned
to a death camp because he is not sure if he would have had “that internal
strength” to see that what was happening was wrong. But I think he would
have followed the orders blindly, because first, thats what hes been doing
his whole life, but second, because he always truly believed in Hitler and
1. How would you define the word “obedience”? What is Blind Obedience?
What is the difference between obedience and conformity?
Obedience is to obey a command. Blind obedience is when you obey a
request or demand without even thinking about it. The difference between
obedience and conformity is that when you conform you agree to do
something or become similar to what you are conforming to.
I feel that it is all three; fear of punishment, a belief in authority, and a
desire to please. But a think fear is the biggest reason for obedience. If a
child is told to clean their room, are they going to do it out of a desire to
please? Or that they think that their parents are telling them this for their
own good? They clean it because they dont want to get hit and/or punished
and have their privileges taken away.