Hitler's Furies

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Wendy Lower’s stunning account of the role of German women on the World War II Nazi eastern front powerfully revises history, proving that we have ignored the reality of women’s participation in the Holocaust, including as brutal killers. The long-held picture of German women holding down the home front during the war, as loyal wives and cheerleaders for the Führer, pales in comparison to Lower’s incisive case for the massive complicity, and worse, of the 500,000 young German women she places, for the first time, directly in the killing fields of the expanding Reich.

Hitler’s Furies builds a fascinating and convincing picture of a morally “lost generation” of young women, born into a defeated, tumultuous post–World War I Germany, and then swept up in the nationalistic fervor of the Nazi movement—a twisted political awakening that turned to genocide. These young women—nurses, teachers, secretaries, wives, and mistresses—saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of “wild east” of career and matrimonial opportunity, and yet could not have imagined what they would witness and do there. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival and field work on the Holocaust, access to post-Soviet documents, and interviews with German witnesses, presents overwhelming evidence that these women were more than “desk murderers” or comforters of murderous German men: that they went on “shopping sprees” for Jewish-owned goods and also brutalized Jews in the ghettos of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus; that they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also taking their turn at the mass shooting. And Lower uncovers the stories, perhaps most horrific, of SS wives with children of their own, whose female brutality is as chilling as any in history.

Hitler’s Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs: genocide is women’s business too, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.
Curriculet Details
48 Questions
58 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 11-12 grades, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining literary devices (allusions, idioms, and their uses in non-fiction), visuals of the subject matter, and clarification/summary of the author's points. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about Nazi ideals and literary devices. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of theme, comprehension, and multimedia evaluation. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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The Lost Generation of German Women

The link below highlights the features of the Nordic race, which is the race used to attempt to form the Aryan race. (This annotation contains a link)
Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942) was second in importance to Heinrich Himmler in the Nazi SS organization. Nicknamed "The Blond Beast" by the Nazis, and "Hangman Heydrich" by others, Heydrich had insatiable greed for power and was a cold, calculating manipulator without human compassion who was the leading planner of Hitler's Final Solution in which the Nazis attempted to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe (The History Place). (This annotation contains an image)
The video below highlights the organization known as The Hitler Youth. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
How did women's rights in the United States during the early 1900s compare to Germany's during the same time period? 
The video below chronicles the Women's Suffrage Movement. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
How did Adolf Hitler become chancellor of Germany? 
The war propaganda below depicts Hitler in a God-like role. This view of him was often portrayed in propaganda and news. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a picture of a Nazi woman's uniform. (This annotation contains an image)
The video below presents multiple speeches delivered by Adolf Hitler. Watch a couple of the shorter speeches, and consider why so many people were drawn to his movement. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
Using context clues, choose the best definition for the highlighted word. 
The link below provides a brief outline of the origin and timeline of the highlighted term. (This annotation contains a link)
The article below discusses American women's roles during the 1920's, along with the changes taking place for these women. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
What was the objective of childcare courses? 
Below is a picture of SS men. (This annotation contains an image)

The East Needs You

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
What is Mein Kampf? 
The article below discusses Joseph Goebbels, the head of Nazi propaganda during WWII. (This annotation contains a link)
Click on the link below to read a short biography of Karl May. (This annotation contains a link)
Watch the video below, in order to learn about allusions. An allusion is a literary technique that authors use, in order to provide added meaning to their writing. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
After watching the video about allusions and reading about the Garden of Eden, determine the point that the author is trying to make by infusing this allusion into her writing. 
The link below provides a brief description of the Garden of Eden. (This annotation contains a link)
Below is an article which highlights the racial hygiene program set forth by the Nazis. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
What reasons does the novel and article above give for why schools were established in the East. Choose the answer that is NOT included. 
Read the first two paragraphs of the article linked below, which digs deeper into the efforts of Nazi women in Poland. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
Explain the author's main idea in the section of this chapter titled 'Teachers.' 
Below is a WWII German Red Cross pin. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
After looking over the propaganda that the US created to recruit nurses during WWII, explain how the image of American nurses differed from their German counterparts. 
Below is United States propaganda, which calls for women to become nurses. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Make an inference as to the reason that Kneissler devoted herself to so many Nazi groups. 
The link below summarizes the Bolshevik Revolution. (This annotation contains a link)
Below is an image of women in dirndls. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6
Explore the reason that the author has chosen to include the highlighted line in this portion of the novel. 
The link below further discusses the highlighted word. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Compare the features of the Dinaric race to that of Hitler's Aryan race. 
The link below explains the features of the "Dinaric" race. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
How did the Nazi wives discussed in this section view their roles in the Fuhrer's cause? 
The laws which restricted racial mixing were a part of the Nuremberg Laws. The link below is a translation of these laws. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
Using the two annotations above, compare and contrast the Nuremberg Laws to the anti-miscegenation laws. 
The link below discusses anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. While reading, consider how they compare to the Nuremberg Laws. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
For what reason would the Nazis prefer to overlook the shortcomings of their subordinate workers? 
The link below discusses an event that epitomized the Nazi ideal known as anti-intellectualism. (This annotation contains a link)
Below is a picture of a DKW motorcycle. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6
Explore the author's reasons for choosing to discuss, on multiple occasions, the conformity of appearance placed on Nazi women. 
Quiz #1 

Witnesses

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
Choose the option that best describes the simile in the highlighted text. 
Below is a picture of Ukraine work recruitment propaganda. (This annotation contains an image)
This anti-Jewish provision was enacted in August of 1940. Along with the banning of Jews from all caf├ęs, pubs and restaurants, even where separate rooms were available for Jews. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
According to the text, why was it often easier for Nazi men than Nazi women (who would later be a part of the atrocities) to see murder for the first time? 
Below is a map of the Minsk Ghetto. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a picture of the Minsk Ghetto. (This annotation contains an image)
Read through the information presented in the link below. While reading, consider how the efforts by the Nazis created the sentiment reflected in the letter. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
What efforts by the Nazis led to the dehumanization of Jews in Europe? 
Below is a map of Ukraine. Rivne is highlighted, in order to see its location in relation to other notable places discussed in this novel. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a description of a group formed to denounce the efforts and atrocities by the Nazis. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
Most often, the highlighted text can be understood to mean that a person is keeping an amount of distance that keeps them out of the way of danger. Considering what is being said in this part of the novel, consider the added meaning that the author is trying to convey in these words. 
The highlighted word is a feeling (usually of disappointment) that one gets when he/she learns the truth about a previously held belief. 
The highlighted text contains an idiom. Idioms are phrases that have two meanings (literal and figurative). This example's literal meaning is that the men have blood on their hands. The figurative meaning is that the men are responsible for the deaths of people. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Describe the events/details from this chapter that prove that some of the Nazi killers did not take pride in the nasty deeds that they were asked to commit. Make an inference as to the reason that these men and women still committed these acts, despite the fact that they were horrified by them. 

Accomplices

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
After the war, how did the tables turn for the Nazi women who were a part of the brutality? Be sure to utilize the text for clues to this answer. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6
Consider the author's reasons for including comments of this nature. What point(s) is she attempting to get across to her readers? 
The highlighted text contains an idiom whose figurative meaning is to ignore something or to pretend not to see something. 
The link below provides the story of the Monuments Men, which were Americans who worked to locate and preserve valuable historical works that the Nazis targeted for confiscation and destruction during the war. (This annotation contains a link)
The video below is a trailer for the movie The Monuments Men. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
Using context clues, and considering what's being discussed in this portion of the novel, choose the best definition for the highlighted word. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
What literary device is used in the highlighted text? 
The highlighted text contains a metaphor. Jews are being compared to rabbits, without the use of 'like' or 'as.' 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5
Make an inference as to the author's reason(s) for including this information at this point in the novel. 
Antipartisan campaigns were counter-insurgency operations carried out against the resistance movements. During these campaigns, resistors were named and either killed or imprisoned for resisting the efforts of the Nazi party. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6
Explore the possible reasons for the author's insertion of atrocities committed by high-ranking Nazi men during the war. Why might the author want to include this information in a book about Nazi female murderers? 
The link below chronicles the efforts of Himmler during the war. (This annotation contains a link)
The link below presents a similar law put in place in the United States. Read pages 219-224 of this journal article, all the while considering how it relates to the highlighted text in this novel. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6
What is the author's purpose for including this picture in the text? 
Quiz #2 
The highlighted text's purpose is to help the reader to realize that the way that German women were written into history was less than factual. Many were not victims; instead, they were perpetrators of crimes. This embodies the point that the author makes and will continue to make throughout the entire novel. 

Perpetrators

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Choose a line from the text that proves that the author believed that German medical teams did in fact kill disabled soldiers. Be sure to explain how this line proves this to be true. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
Choose the best synonym for the highlighted word. 
Below is a somewhat modern picture of Volodymyr-Volynsky. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5
For what reason is the highlighted text placed between quotation marks? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
Choose one of the women presented in the article above, and compare her to one of the Nazi women discussed in this paragraph. How do their motives for dressing and acting compare and contrast? 
The link below presents historical and literary women who also posed as men for their own individual purposes. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
What does it mean to be a "natural born killer?" 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Despite the strict restrictions placed on Nazi women, why did the Nazis turn a blind eye to women who had children out of wedlock? 
The link below provides a history of Anschluss. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7
Explain how watching the video helps to deepen your knowledge of the text. Also, compare the purpose of the text to that of the video. 
In the video below, survivors of ghettos reflect on their experiences. (This annotation contains a link)

Why Did They Kill?

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
How were German women made to look innocent of all crimes after the war? 
The link below briefly documents the history of the Red Army. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
Provide your thoughts about the bride schools that Scholtz-Klink led. How does learning about this topic help you to better understand her character? 
The link below provides a modern-day article discussing the part that Sholtz-Klink played during the war. (This annotation contains a link)
The link below provides a definition for the highlighted word. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
Explore other instances in history where similar circumstances occur. Consider instances where people/groups fight/kill because they were a part of a cause. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
According to the information presented by the author, how do animals relate to the human perpetrators during WWII? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
According to the author, the female perpetrators most likely shared common traits. What trait was NOT a part of her assumptions? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
The phrase 'partners in crime' is an example of what literary device? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
The highlighted text contains personification. A phenomenon (a non-human thing) is being given the human quality of force or movement.Using the words in the "I Have a Dream" video (excerpt) and this novel's words, consider the reason why an author would use figurative language in US literature and seminal documents. 
The Nazis' atrocious behavior and decisions are being compared to "machinery of destruction," which is an example of a metaphor. 
The video below is an excerpt of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. While watching, listen for literary devices in his words. (This annotation contains a video)

What Happened to Them?

The link below gives a brief history of Slonim. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
Using context clues, choose the option that provides the best definition for the highlighted word. 
The article below includes a journalist's opinion about the statute of limitations on Nazi war crimes. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
Explain the allusion that is present in the highlighted text. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Considering evidence presented a bit earlier in the novel, what is a likely reason that these women were acquitted? 
The highlighted word means to be found innocent. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
Make an inference as to a court's reasoning for allowing a spouse to refuse testimony. In the case of a trial of Nazi officer or high-ranking official (during wartimes), do you believe that this right should be waived? Be sure to explain your answer. 
A similar circumstance to the one highlighted in the novel is currently allowed in most states in the United States. This law is briefly described in the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
Choose the option that best paraphrases the highlighted text. 
The highlighted text can be summarized to mean that the confessions were obtained while the confessors were being intimidated and/or pressured into offering specific testimony. 
Read the review of this novel, written by Dwight Garner of the New York Times. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5
Now that you have nearly reached the end of this novel, provide a critique of the author's information, points, and writing style. To help in this task, refer to the New York Times review by Dwight Garner, and decide whether you agree or disagree with his assessment. 
Quiz #3