HIS 112
Unit 10: World War II

Eternal Flame

The eternal flame. This is part of the formal unknown soldier tomb in front of the Kremlin Walls, Moscow. There is also a war memorial in the Aleksandrovskii Garden on the east side of the Kremlin. In reality, there are literally thousands of unknown soldier tombs or monuments on sites of mass burials of the Russian dead of World War II. It is still not clear how many Russians died in the war--20, 30, 40 or perhaps even as many as 50 million.

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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, 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.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read A. Anatolii [Kuznetsov], Babi Yar (1967, published in Moscow by Molodaia Gvardiia) and write a long paragraph explaining why that horror occurred.
  • 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 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, please suggest a relevant website for this unit of the course.  Send your instructor the title of the site, the URL and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the material being studied this unit.
Unit Learning Objectives
  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of the scope and cost of World War II, (2) explain the human cost of the war and (3) analyze historical primary sources.

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