Activity 6: Prejudice and Propaganda
Years 7- 11 (ages 12-16)
Progression Steps 4 and 5
In this activity, students will learn about how the Nazis used youth organisations and propaganda to cultivate the support of millions of Germans for their political goals and to shape public opinion and behaviour before and during World War 2.
The activity aims to provide a foundation to examine how prejudice and propaganda can contribute to persecution, violence, mass atrocity, and genocide.
The activity includes video testimonies from Irene Kirstein Watts and Ellen Kerry Davis, Kindertransport refugees. These testimonies allow students to reflect on how the Nazis used multiple layers of propaganda and how it influenced those who were included in, and those excluded from, German society at the time. The activity encourages students to consider the human impact that this propaganda had on individual families, emphasising the humanity of the victims of the Holocaust.
The activity also explores how contemporary propaganda continues to affect people today. Students will be asked to connect these reflections to their own roles and responsibilities in a democratic society and to reflect on the role of media in their own lives, focusing on how to develop a critical lens in interpreting modern media messages.
The activity can be split easily into two sessions where necessary – Tasks 1-3 can be covered in the first session and Tasks 4 and 5 can be completed in a second session.
Activity 6: Prejudice and Propaganda - Teachers' Notes
Activity 6: Prejudice and Propaganda - Handout 1 - Backdrop to Nazi Propaganda
Activity 6: Prejudice and Propaganda - Handout 2 - Nazi Youth Groups
Activity 6: Prejudice and Propaganda - Handout 3 - Video Transcriptions
Activity 6: Prejudice and Propaganda - Handout 4 - Student Worksheet