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Lindsey Ward

Nadine Gordon

UWRT 1103

March 1, 2017

Topic proposal for extended inquiry project

The main question that I am using to guide my research is: How did the Nazi regime

affect the lives of children during WWII? In my initial research, I have found that both gentile

and Jewish children spent, in some cases around 12 years of their lives, under the control of the

Nazi party. I found that gentile is a term that describes people who are not Jewish. German

gentile children were seen by the Nazi party as the future leaders of the Aryan race and Hitler

thought very highly of them, dedicating many pages of his book, Mein Kampf, to Aryan youth

(Johnson 263). In Hitler youth, the boys were shown how to be leaders and how to take pride in

their country. In the female counterpart to Hitler youth, the League of German Girls, young girls

were taught how to be better mothers and to serve the German people by doing their job at home.

While the actions of the Nazi party on gentile children were more psychological; the party took

violent action against the Jewish children. The population of Jewish children on the other hand

were not treated as nicely, many were taken to concentration camps, death camps, or ghettos. If a

child younger than 12 arrived at a concentration camp the child would immediately be sent off to

the gas chambers or killed since they could not work. If a child was of working age and build

they would most often be worked to death and treated just like their adult counterparts (Holliday

60).
Aside from my initial question I proposed in the previous paragraph; some other

questions that I have about my topic that I would like to investigate further include: What

strategies were used on the gentile children by the Nazi party to create the extreme nationalism

they hoped for in the children? How did the Nazi view of society shape the way the children on

both sides were treated? How was life in Ghettos different for children than in concentration

camps? Were there any actions by gentile children to help children in concentration camps? What

actions were taken to help Jewish children from being killed? What were some of the things that

were taught to children enrolled in Nazi youth programs?

The brown eyes blue eyes experiment peaked my interest in wanting to see how the

actions of one group of people could change childrens views on both side of a debate. I have a

friend whose grandfather grew up in Nazi Germany, he participated on Hitler youth and I am not

sure what effect that mightve had on him. I hope to interview him as a part of by research. I

have a soft spot for children and I cannot imagine the struggles they went through during this

terrible time in history. From the physical and psychological harm caused on the Jewish children

to the life changing atmosphere of hate some children were raised in, I want to know the

struggles of these children.

The next steps I am planning on taking for this assignment is to find more books and

primary sources about the topic I am writing about. I would also like to see if I can get interviews with

people who know more about the subject matter than I do. I am going to try and set up an interview with

my friends grandfather to learn more about his experiences in Hitler Youth. I also intend on trying to find

a good amount of info to balance out the two extremes of my topic. Both topics I am hoping to explore

for my paper are very different in the atrocities the people affected went through. I just hope I can do

justice to both groups of people I hope to study.