GCSE History: Nazi Germany

World History teaching resources for the high school classroom: lesson plans, worksheets, quizzes and simulation games for KS3, IGCSE, IB and A-Level teachers.

Hitler's Third Reich

The scheme of work which follows uses these interactive simulations designed to "run themselves" in a computer room.

I have also developed some materials for Holocaust Memorial Day.

1. James Spod: Undercover in Nazi Germany! [interactive]
Learn about Nazi Germany whilst on a mission to eliminate the evil dictator Adolf Hitler! The original (less comprehensive) game is still available here.
2. Head2Head Virtual Interview with Adolf Hitler! [interactive]
Interview the German dictator face to face! Type in whatever question takes your fancy, and receive a historically accurate reply courtesy of a massive database. A fantastic way of investigating Germany 1918-45.

The following worksheets accompany the TV Series The Nazis: A Warning from History (click here to buy from Amazon). They can be used at appropriate points throughout the scheme of work.

1. Chaos and Consent (The system of government in Nazi Germany)
2. The Wrong War (Foreign Policy and Appeasement)
3. The Road to Treblinka (The Holocaust)
4. Fighting to the End (Opposition to Hitler, and why it failed)

1. Hitler's Rise to Power

A comprehensive selection of activities related to Hitler's rise to power can be found on these pages. As a recap, however, students could use the following resource:

1. Helped into Power: Worksheet for the Video
A worksheet to accompany the relevant episode from "The Nazis: A Warning from History" (click here to buy from Amazon).

2. Hitler's Consolidation of Power

1. Hitler's Consolidation of Power: Introduction
An overview of the main themes and historical questions to generate student interest.
2. The Reichstag Fire Roleplay exercise
A roleplay exercise designed to take place over a one-hour lesson. Students investigate the evidence and reliability of the main witnesses after dividing into prosecution and defence teams. A separate team of judges prepare "surprise evidence" for each side. This teacher promptsheet is also necessary.

The Night of the Long Knives
Information, sources and tasks outlining how and why Hitler crushed the SA. There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: The Nazi Consolidation of Power, 1933-4 | The Army in Nazi Germany after 1933

The Night of the Long Knives (additional resources for the 16-18 age range):
a, The Case for the Army
b. The Case for the SA
c. What happened?
d. Was there really a plot to overthrow Hitler?

4. End of Unit Test [interactive]
A paper test of 20 questions based on the information in the preceeding worksheets.
Students should be given the opportunity to revise for the test by playing this interactive quiz.

3. Hitler's Rule of Germany


The Nazi Police State


The Nazi Police State
Students use the Head2Head Interview with Adolf Hitler to gather key information about the way in which Nazi Germany controlled the people. There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: The Nazi State | The Nazi Party after 1933 | Himmler's SS Empire | How powerful was the SS?

2. Flash Interactive Template
How did the Nazis rule Germany? From Interactive Whiteboard Resources


Nazi Economic Policies

1. Nazi Economic Policies
Students use the Head2Head Interview with Adolf Hitler to organise information about Hitler's economic policies for Big Business, Small Business, Agriculture and the working classes under key headings in this worksheet. There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: Nazi Economic Policies | Conclusions on Nazi Economic Policies


Nazi Social Policies


Nazi Social Policies [1]: Overview
Students are divided into groups to investigate Nazi social policies towards undesirables and untermenschen. They are instructed how to organise a PowerPoint show to give to the rest of the class and the findings are recorded in a grid.


Nazi Social Policies [2]: The European Dimension
A stimulating worksheet in which students are shown how many of Hitler's ideas stemmed from theories and practices in Europe and America which were popular at the time (and since). A crucial worksheet which helps students get away from the idea that Hitler was a peculiarly "German" problem.


Social Policies [3]: The Moral Maze
Students are presented with a logical defence of the principles of Eugenics and Social Darwinism as they existed in Hitler's Third Reich. They are then asked how they would nevertheless challenge some of its assertions both on rational and on moral grounds. One to get them thinking and debating! There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: Nazi Treatment of minorities



Nazi Youth Policies


Nazi Youth Policies: [1] Schools in Hitler's Third Reich
GCSE history students match entries from Nazi School Textbooks to the subjects they describe, then each student in the class has a "Napola" school report written for them by several people in the class.


Youth Policies: [2] Youth Organisations in Hitler's Third Reich
GCSE history students compare the Hitler Youth and the League of German Maidens by constructing a dialogue designed to highlight the positive and negative features about each. There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: Nazis and Youth; there is a worksheet to go with the information pack which should also be printed off.

3. Recommended DVDs re. Nazi Youth Policies
Sophie Scholl | Swing Kids | Europa Europa | Edelweiss Pirates


Nazi Women's Policies


Nazi Policies towards Women
In this task GCSE history students analyse one of Hitler's speeches to determine how the Third Reich justified the Nazi policy of "Kinder, Kirche, Kuche". They then categorise his actions according to whether they encouraged women to stay at home or have more babies.There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: In-depth assessment of women's policies; Nazi policies towards women



Nazi Religious Policies


Nazi Religious Policies
By means of a venn diagram, students investigate the various ways in which the Nazis tried to control replace and weaken the Catholic and Protestant Churches. There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: The Nazis and religion



Nazi Propaganda Policies


Nazi Propaganda
An in-depth analysis of a whole range of Nazi propaganda techniques including sport, posters and cinema. For each, students have to assess evidence of success and failure. There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: The Nazi Propaganda Machine | Propaganda in Nazi Germany


Recommended DVDs re. Nazi Propaganda Policies
The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl | Triumph of the Will | Olympia



Opposition to the Nazis


Opposition to the Nazis - PowerPoint Starter
Opposition to the Nazis - Main Worksheet
Opposition to the Nazis - Factual Test
After looking at the different versions of the famous Niemoller poem in the powerpoint starter, Students use the main worksheet to compare how different social groups opposed the Nazis, and then use this information to complete one of several suggested tasks after completing a factual test. My own students produced "Hollywood Trailers" which can be found on the ActiveHistory YouTube Channel. There are also more advanced worksheets for the 16-18 age range: Opposition to the Nazi regime

2. When, How and Why should We Oppose? A lesson I designed for PSHE, but which could fit well into a consideration of opposition to the Nazis.


The Jews and the Holocaust


Why did Hitler Hate the Jews? - Main worksheet
This worksheet explains not merely why Hitler hated the Jews, but also why the Jews have been persecuted throughout the ages in countries across Europe. Students connect these factors in a flow diagram and categorise them as religious, racial, economic and social. This worksheet is supported by this antisemitic propaganda for children, and antisemitic propaganda for adults.


Nazi Policies for Jews, 1933-39
Students consider whether each antisemitic policy in Hitler's Third Reich was designed to threaten, humiliate or physically weaken the Jewish people. They consider how the international community responded to Nazi policies. They then consider what the law should really be regarding the treatment of immigrants and national minorities.


Nazi Policies for Jews, 1939-45
The development of the Final Solution in the Third Reich is examined and students produce their own classroom presentation.


Who was Responsible for the Holocaust?
A thorny subject, but an important one: were the German people "Hitler's Willing Executioners"? GCSE History Students consider the evidence for both sides to reach their own judgement.


The Legacy of the Holocaust: Israel and Palestine
This worksheet encourages students to consider how the Arab-Israeli conflict is in large part Hitler's most lasting legacy.


How Should we Commemorate the Holocaust?
Students consider the purpose of commemoration and then design their own Holocaust memorial after looking at a wide range of examples from around the world.

  I have also developed some materials for Holocaust Memorial Day.


The Collapse of the Nazi Regime

  "Downfall" - Feature Film Viewing Notes / Discussion Points
Detailed historical context, viewing notes and discussion points to accompany a viewing of the outstanding historical epic.


"Who Am I?" Challenge - Nazi Germany
Each team will be presented with a clue about a key historical figure. They get 50 points if they guess it correctly. If they wish to 'pass', they get further (easier) clues but the points available steadily decline. An incorrect guess at any point means they get zero points for that round. You can play as many rounds as you wish. It's a great way to revise!

Interactive quizzes on this topic [tips]

I also teach this topic at A-Level - click here to check out these resources.


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