HIS 102
Unit 12:  World War II

Camp Tower
Russian veteran

I wanted to include these two photos about the Second World War. The photo on the right is a Russian veteran pausing to remember--you don't celebrate--the Allied victory in Europe which came at such an enormous cost for the Russians. (See my remarks on Russia and World War II.) The photo dates from about 1960 or so. The photo on the left is a nasty legacy of the American experience in World War II. These are surviving towers from a Japanese-American internment camp where American citizens of Japanese descent were imprisoned during the war.

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What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit Some videos that you can watch for this unit Extra Credit Options
  • For up to 50 points of extra credit, submit a two-page paper comparing the experiences of colonial soldiers from West Africa in the French army with those of African-American soldiers in the US army.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, submit the Hitler paragraph.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, read Neville Chamberlain's Peace For Our Time speech (30 September, 1938; transcription) and then his comments on the agreement in the House of Commons and write a one-page paper examining Chamberlain's intent and rationale for the Munich agreements.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, read the Documents on the Decision to Drop the Bomb and write a one-page paper summarizing some of the pros and cons of the decision to use the atomic bomb in 1945. Here are two interesting sites about the Manhattan Project: The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb and Women of the Manhattan Project.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, in a one-page paper What types of evidence did the allied prosecutors bring against the Nazi leaders in the proceedings at Nuremberg?
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, write a one-page paper (maybe two pages if they are exceptional) that provides a detailed comparison of Hitler's ideas on national socialism and Benito Mussolini's What Is Fascism?
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit be brave!  Read Benito Mussolini (1883-1945): The Doctrine of Fascism?, 1932 and write a one-page paper explaining the main points of fascism as understood by Mussolini.
  • For a maximum of 10 points extra credit (maybe more), in a long paragraph, What should people do now in respect to the atrocities that occurred before and during World War II?
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read A. Anatolia [Kuznets], Babi Yar (1967, published in Moscow by Moldavia Sigvard) and write a long paragraph explaining why that horror occurred.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read the materials on Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941 and write a short paragraph explaining why Germany and Russia maintained their alliance for two years.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read Vyacheslav Molotov (1889-1986) broadcast on the Invasion of The Soviet Union (June 22, 1941) and write a paragraph explaining the key points of Molotov's speech.  Note that it was Molotov, not Stalin, who announced that the Soviet Union was now at war with Germany.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read Adolf Hitler Reichstag Speech, (February 20, 1938) and in a paragraph explain your interpretation of Hitler's remarks.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read Chamberlain's speech on the Nazi Invasion of Poland (1 September 1939; transcription) and in a paragraph examine what Chamberlain must have been thinking as he faced his colleagues in the House of Commons.
  • For up to 5 points of extra credit, watch Leni Riefenstahl's documentary film Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will) and answer the movie study questions.  Please write in formal, complete sentences.
  • For extra credit up to 5 points, we are always looking for photos from historical sites (graves, statues, churches, battlefields, buildings, waterfalls, mountains, etc) from around the world, particularly Russia, to use in our online courses. If you have anything that you wish to share, we would much appreciate it, and you will receive credit for your photo if we use it in one of our courses. Any photos that you send must have been taken by yourself. Please attach your photos to an email and send to Professor Evans at charles.t.evans@gmail.com. (Don’t use cevans@nvcc.edu because of email attachment size limits.) Be sure to cc your email to your current course instructor if that is not Professor Evans. This extra credit opportunity does not count against your limit of one extra credit for this unit.
Unit Learning Objectives
  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) define some of the characteristics of fascism and national socialism, (2) demonstrate knowledge of the scope and cost of World War II and (3) analyze historical primary sources.

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