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Assignment #11 - World War II

STEP #1 - WATCH -- Memory of the Camps

Please click the link to watch the film, "Memory of the Camps" online.


STEP #2 - READ -- A People's War?

Please read chapter 16, "A People's War?" from Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

STEP #3 - WATCH -- On Our Watch

Please click the image to take you to the website for "On Our Watch."  Follow the links to take you to the film online



Be sure to not only include 5 things you found interesting in your reading but please also address the questions in this prompt;

Fifty one years ago camera crews with the British and American armies entered the Nazi death camps and filmed the horror they found there. For decades that film was stored in the archives of the imperial War museum in London. The documentary was unfinished with missing sound tracks. But the directors including Alfred Hitchcock, had developed a script to go with the pictures. Frontline presented that film unedited, as close as possible to what the producers intended over a half-century ago. They made it as a document to serve our collective memory. 

After viewing Memory of the camps how has your understanding off world war II changed?

What are your thoughts surrounding this genocide that claimed the lives of nearly 12 million undesirables (Including not only jews, but also Africans, Asians, the physically and mentally challenged homosexuals, gypsies and on and on the list could go of all the groups singled out by Hitler and the Third Reich) from throughout the European continent?

By the end of war as stated in the film the dead has been buried. It remains for us to care for these, the living. It remains for us to hope that Germans may help mend what they have broken, and cleanse what they have befouled. Thousands of German people were made to see for themselves, to bury the dead, to file past the victims. This was the end of the journey  they had so confidently begun in 1933. Twelve years? No in terms of barbarity and brutality they had traveled backwards for 12000 years. 

Unless the world learns the lesson these pictures teach, night will fall. But by God's Grace we who live will learn. The world vowed 'never again after the genocide in world war II and again in Rwanda and the altrocities in Srebrenica Bosnia. Then came Darfur. Over the past four years at least 200,000 people have been killed 2.5 million driven from their homes, and mass rapes have been used as a weapon in a brutal campaign - supported by the sudanese government again civilians in Darfur. 

Assignment #12 - The Cold War

STEP #1 - WATCH -- Why We Fight

Please pay special attention to the brief history of our involvement in the leadership changes in Iraq found in this film.


STEP #2 - READ -- Watching Big Brother

Please read chapter 8, "Watching Big Brother," from Lies My Teacher Told Me


Please be ready to discuss this on Discussion Board as well.


Remember to tie your own ideas about the readings to this prompt!

What have you learned from the film Why we fight?

I hope you learned that Saddam Hussein was once a CIA Asset-- a friend of ours. The film does not mention this, but you know that our CIA also trained Osama Bin Laden? These are interesting little tidbits of information aren't they? But what do they illustrate for us about our country's dealings in the Middle East? Did you have any idea that we had orchestrated the oustings of so many foreign leaders? That we had a hand in assassinating so many foreign leaders? Why would we do this? The Cold War only sees a heightening of all that began during the Spanish-American-Cuban-Fillipino War. We begin going into country after country and for what purpose? Why we fight suggests it has much to do with the growing military-industrial complex that president Eisenhower tried to warn us against or else they would begin to affect our nation in ways we could not imagine as Eisenhower suggests apolitically economically even spiritually. What do you think he meant by this? This might begin to help us understand why we are spending so much money today to win the current war we find ourselves in. What are your thoughts about what you've read and about the information found in the film? What other thoughts do you have after readings Loewens chapter, "Watching Big Brother?


Assignment #13 - The Vietnam War

STEP #1 - WATCH -- Hearts and Minds


STEP #2 - READ -- The Impossible Victory

Please read "The Impossible Victory," from A People's History


"We weren't on the wrong side, a stricken Daniel Ellsberg confides we were the wrong side'' Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film in 1974, Hearts and Minds still resonates as a cautionary tale against unquestioned military might abroad and virulent patriotism at home. The title comes from the now infamous speech by Lyndon Johnson in which the president declared that "ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there." Though Johnson was referring to the south Vietnamese on whose behalf we fought communist North Vietnam, Davis has taken Johnson's challenge as his own. His film appeals to our most primitive emotions as well as our highest intellect, linking these seemingly competing faculties through visual juxtaposition. Without the aid of a narrator, the movie alternates between eminent talking heads, stock footage, veteran testimony, and scarily, clips from corny HollyWood agitprop. It all forms a dense weave of sound and images that relies on us to connect the thematic dots. Though this is seldom an easy task given the films tendency to delay counterpoints and to short-circuit any obvious dramatic momentum, repeated viewings will help the movies general, if fitful chronological semblance to emerge. Pinpointing the origin of our involvement in Vietnam in the post-world war II belief that we could control the future of the world Davis suggests that our policy of communist containment spawned an altogether different and intractable monster at home, that is the management of lies and cover up emanating from the very top. After watching this film and completing your readings what are your thoughts about he Vietnam War?

Assignment #14 - Final Reading Assignment - To Be Included in Your Final

STEP #1 - READ -- Why is History Taught Like This?

Please read the chapter, "Why is History Taught Like This?" from Lies My Teacher Told Me


STEP #2 - READ -- What is the Result of Teaching History Like This?

Please read, "What is the Result of Teaching History Like This?" from Lies My Teacher Told Me


Final Written Exercise



More specifically what lessons have you drawn from your discussions with individuals(both in and outside of this course) about the history you have learned this semester, and what ethical dilemmas have arisen for you as a result of this new information?

1) Your response to the question must be typed-twelve point, double spaced on inch margins. In writing your answer, please do not exceed five pages.

2) Your generalizations must be supported by direct citations from the text, class notes, or instructors handouts.

3) Citations should be made in MLA format. For readings, class notes or presentations....

4) Do not include a bibliography.

5) you may consult with your classmates in formulating an answer to this questions. However you must write your own, unique independent answer for this question. 

6) You will turn this paper in through the SafeAssign portal and copy and paste it into the Final Discussion Board.

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