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Nazi Ideology and Victims of the Holocaust and Nazi Persecution

Dr. Meinecke spoke to North Carolina teachers at the Museum in November 2002. He presents this material at many of the Museum's teacher training programs on-site and around the nation. In addition to video of the actual workshop session, segments include historical and artifact photographs, text, and links to related sites within the Museum's website.

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Overview

Introduction

Students are often unaware of the magnitude of the Nazis’ intent and their targeting of other groups for racial, ethnic, and political reasons. Dr. Meinecke emphasizes the primacy of the Jews as victims of Nazi terror, discusses Nazi intent, and explains how and why additional groups were targeted.

William Frederick Meinecke, Jr., received his undergraduate degree in German and History from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1983. He attended the University of Bonn and the Free University in Berlin in Germany and received his M.A. (1988) and also his Ph.D. (1998) in history from the University of Maryland at College Park. In 1992, William joined the staff of the Wexner Learning Center of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He was on the design team of the center’s multimedia program on the Holocaust, the Historical Atlas of the Holocaust (book and CD-ROM), and the Student Learning Site web presentation on the Holocaust. In June 2000, William joined the staff of Museum’s Education Division.

Agenda

I. Introduction
Students are often unaware of the magnitude of the Nazis’ intent and their targeting of other groups for racial, ethnic, and political reasons.

II. Nazi Ideology
“It is really important and appropriate ... that we remember that the primary victim of the Holocaust was European Jewry.”

III. The Quest for Racial Purity
“The group that most closely paralled the experience of Jews in Germany.”

IV. The Racial Struggle for Europe
“The Nazi racial vision of the racial value of Poles was very low.”

V. Nazi Ideology and the Persecution of Germans
“... is another group who would otherwise be racially acceptable Germans.”

VI. Conclusion
“You wouldn’t be wrong to say the Nazi state was a racist state.”