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Teacher tells students good things about Hitler.

Education Albany Hitler defense 2004

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#1 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 10:05 AM

Students Told to Debate Pros and Cons of Hitler

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When students asked how they could possibly defend Hitler, Lyons pointed to medical experiments conducted on Nazi concentration camp prisoners, which she said led to medical advancements, the Times Union of Albany reported in Wednesday's editions.

At times I start to regain my faith in how History is taught in high schools then something like this one happens.... :blink:
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#2 the 'Hawk

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 10:25 AM

The only pro to Hitler was that he saved the world the trouble of another show trial by putting a bullet in his brain.

All the good stuff that came out of WWII came at a hideous price-- millions dead, a Holocaust, the nuclear age. Yes, war brings technological advancements, but the machine of progress is fed with the blood of human beings. There is nothing positive about such progress, at any time in history. Anyone who tells you otherwise is deluding themselves.

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#3 Rhys

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 11:19 AM

I think this was something that was badly presented and blown out of proportion.

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Anne Lyons instructed her global history students to debate the positive and negative effects of Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin as part of a Feb. 5 lesson exploring how dictators rise to power.

Hitler was, after all, elected.  He had a lot of willing followers.  And yet, when we look back on him today, we see him as a monster.  If we don't explore why some people thought so highly of him, how will we recognize if it happens again, and how will we know how to fight it?

I think the most unfortunate thing was the teacher's choice of an example.  I don't think she was trying to claim the medical experiments were a good thing, but that it was something that might be perceived as a good thing by misguided followers, and used to sway public opinion.  A better example would be Hitler's attempts to rebuild a broken German economy.

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#4 G1223

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 11:33 AM

HHHMMM Posiitve effects of Hitler.

It created stronger ties between Britian and America.
His anti-Jewish government kept Nuclear fission out of his hands.


Positive effects of Stalin

There were any?


And Benny

the trains ran on time


Another positive effect the teacher will likely be fired for being an idot. The joys of darwinism She needed to be teaching at the college Level that way she would embraced by the establishment as a true schoal and wise-woman


Then againif they had Stalin as a leader they would be dead. That could be one of his positive effects. He killed egghead types who had no wisdom.

#5 shambalayogi

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 11:52 AM

Just FYI, Hitler was elected but he was elected in a country that had 4 elections in one year. What kind of chaos, economic or political,  has ensued in a country where 4 elections have to take place to try to put a government together???

And it wasn't like the US system where there are two parties, it was in a country where more than one party runs candidates and some kind of coalition has to be put together to govern the country.  If I remember correctly, those who asked Hitler to be the Chancellor and put together a government.   Its also possible they didn't believe all the really horrible things the Nazi party said and stood for.

Nevertheless, he was elected. And I'm certanly NOT trying to defend Nazis and what they stand for.  I"m saying that circumstances lent themselves to the Nazis coming to power, with the help of the voters and those who had to form a government.  

And the trains run on time in Germany just fine without Hitler and did before his time.

I hope I don't regret saying this ... whenever I get into this subject ....

Edited by shambalayogi, 18 February 2004 - 11:54 AM.

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#6 the 'Hawk

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 12:05 PM

Rhys, on Feb 18 2004, 11:17 AM, said:

Hitler was, after all, elected.  He had a lot of willing followers.  And yet, when we look back on him today, we see him as a monster.  If we don't explore why some people thought so highly of him, how will we recognize if it happens again, and how will we know how to fight it?
That's a good point.

The things that came out of the war and the Holocaust were one thing-- but at some point, he actually did have to rule Germany.

And, of course, vigilance against perversion of democracy often relies upon Hitler as a prime example.

But the point that belies the whole "Hitler was elected" thing makes it sound like he was elected on some sort of US-style system. When really, he seized a lot of the power he took, and was elected since he was the only person left who still wanted to run Germany that didn't betray the trust of the people. ([EDIT: As shambalayogi pointed out,] there wasn't exactly much that could be done to save a post-Versailles Germany. Just the fact that Hitler stood up and gave the Great Powers the finger probably got him as many votes as anything he stood for.)

:cool:

Edited by the 'Hawk, 18 February 2004 - 12:31 PM.

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#7 G1223

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 12:09 PM

The first election he was part of a colalition  who were using him as a tool against the communists. After he was secure in power and arranged to blame the communists as the ones that burnt down the Riechstag. He then turned to isolating other parts of the coalition till he was elected by his party and his party alone.

#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 12:34 PM

I agree with Rhys.  I think it's an important part of any history lesson dealing with someone like Hitler to examine exactly how in the Sam Hill he could get so frellin' popular.  Man musta had *something* that made him so followed.  It's not an easy subject.  I also think the instructor's choice of medical experiments as a "good thing" was unfortunate.  For one thing, they have nothing to do with how he rose to power as they occurred long after.  She should have used an example like leadership or charisma or presence during speech making or appeal to something missing in the average German's life at the time.  

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#9 HubcapDave

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 01:42 PM

As to the why, Hitler had the right message at the right time. This was around the time when the German economy collapsed and you needed to be a millionaire to buy a loaf of bread. Prior to that, no one was taking Hitler or his Nazi party very seriously. Hitler basically gave the German people someone else to blame for their woes.

#10 GiGi

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 01:58 PM

I find it interesting that the teacher is being jumped on for being anti-semetic.  A lot of other ethnic groups were experimented on not just jews.  So it is ridiculous to make such a presumption.  

I think the teacher was not prepared enough for the quesions the students asked and/or didn't explain her answer throughly.  She was trying to get them to think on two sides of a coin.  In no way does this mean she thinks what was done was a good thing or that she agreed with Hitler.  But yah, sighting medical experiments on humans as positive is not good, but then again I am passionately against most medical experiments on animals especially the more intelligent species...apes, monkeys, PIGS!

(opps, typo)

Edited by GiGi, 18 February 2004 - 02:00 PM.

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#11 Godeskian

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 02:02 PM

you know, i'm beginning to really hate the word 'anti-semetic' and the way it is casually bandied about by a lot of innapropriate people and for inapropriate circumstances.

however, Hitler provided Germany not only with a target for their woes, but don't forget that he actually gave jobs to tens of thousands of people. For better or for worse, and for all the wrong reasons, he gave the germans the ability to recover economically, by working on the war machine.

and the Autobahn system built at the time was an incredible feat of engineering.

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#12 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 02:11 PM

Quote

Rhys: I think the most unfortunate thing was the teacher's choice of an example. I don't think she was trying to claim the medical experiments were a good thing, but that it was something that might be perceived as a good thing by misguided followers, and used to sway public opinion. A better example would be Hitler's attempts to rebuild a broken German economy.

From all I’ve read the goal of her project was to take a historical perspective and look back at the time the three were in power.  Then they were to find the bad things about them and the good things about them.  If anything this is more of a case of her leaving her brain home for the day.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 18 February 2004 - 02:14 PM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
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#13 G-man

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 02:13 PM

^^^ Well, the problem is, the teacher's answer wasn't well thought out.

Firstly, it was in poor taste to cite the benefits to medicine that resulted from the experiments on humans.  She should have seen that explosion from a mile away.

Secondly, her answer really wasn't in line with her question, which, as I have gathered from the article, was asking how a dictator's rise benefited the people he was ruling.  Of course, part and parcel to this discussion, should have been looking at the methods utilized by the dictator to get into power, and the surrounding conditions that allowed him to rise.  And these two issues should have been examined first, and then the question debated whether their rise was, in fact, a boon or bane to the people, as the student-body would have been given the context against which they could make their arguments.  

/s/

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#14 Rhys

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 02:49 PM

As a semi-related point on this, I'm reading Harry Turtledove's "Great War" series (set in and following WWI, but where the South won the Civil War).  There's a character in the series that's clearly analogous to Hitler.  It's interesting (and a little disturbing) how much of my sympathy he can evoke at times, until I "step back" and see the bigger picture.  It really gives a good feel for how Hitler did gain his power & popularity in Germany, but without the automatic "baggage" associated with the historical events.

(That kind of perspective on real history is part of why I love alternate history so much!)

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#15 Rhys

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 02:49 PM

[Gah - double post...]

Edited by Rhys, 18 February 2004 - 02:50 PM.

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