Bystanders Discussion Questions

  • Analyze the dilemma of the bystander in Nazi Europe.

  • If you were in danger of being killed for your actions, do you think you would help others escape Nazi persecution?

  • Discuss the collective German conscience after World War II. There is a bulk of literature dealing with Germans and Germany "coming to terms with" what happened during the War and the Holocaust. How would you suggest dealing with humanitarian crimes if committed by your country?

  • Who would you consider responsible for Nazi crimes, those who made the laws of persecution, those who carried them out, those who did not intervene?

  • Discuss the following question: "Do you think that a bystander is guilty of the crime s/he stands by and lets happen?"

  • Research and discuss the Evian Conference and the outcome of this conference.

  • Identify and discuss motives for the western world's reluctance in accepting Eastern Europe's Jews.

  • Examine policy in the United States regarding immigration during the time of the St. Louis voyage.

  • Many countries participated in the Evian Conference, but few took a stand in coming to the aid of the Jews. Select a country that participated in the conference, research their political stand at the time, the action or inaction taken by the country and the implications of that decision on the country and the world.

  • Give some examples of organizations that help victims of persecution today. Use an internet search.

  • Give some reasons why people who were relatively safe from Nazi persecution may not have wanted to help victims.

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