Cults and Cooperation: Discussing the Past – Project Group 12
1. Historian Doris Bergen writes, “It must have been a lonely and terrifying experience to be on the outside of a torchlight march looking in. What chance would one feel one had against that monolith of power?” Compare and contrast Bergen’s statement with Sebastian Haffner’s description in your reading of how Nazi demonstrations affected Germans. What emotions did the Nazis’ public demonstrations generate in members of the German public? Which emotions were useful to the Nazis in building acceptance and support for their regime? How did the Nazis use language to shape public opinion? How did they try to inﬂuence what Germans thought about, remembered, or forgot through their choice of words? What part did the truth play in these efforts?
2. Make a timeline of important events from the Holocaust and Human Behavior chapter 5. What events seem most important or most pivotal to the experiences of individual Germans? Compare this to some of the tactics Jim Jones used in his own control over his People’s Temple congregation. Did Hitler and Jones have some similarities? What were they? What were the similarities between Jones’ followers and the people of Germany?
3. Briefly identify the difference between the National Socialist (Nazi party) and the Socialist Democrats. Write a sentence or two about the political parties at the time of Hitler’s rise.