Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer in Philadelphia and the Steens Mountains

The school year of 2010-2011 has officially wrapped up--so thanks students for an exciting year.

I will be in Philadelphia and New York City in July. In Philadelphia, I'll be learning more about Benjamin Franklin. Each year, Mrs. Olsen manages to travel somewhere historical so I can be a better teacher in the fall.

This year, the National Endowment for the Humanities will be my host. Most of the time, though, I'll be in Oregon, so I hope to see many of you around. One place I'll be camping in August is the Steen's Mountain wilderness area--part of the great Oregon Outback. Besides arrowhead hunting, I hope to have a good time picking up sunstones and spotting the occassional antelope. Of all the places I've been, Oregon is the most beautiful.

In the fall we are going to have a new schedule. I may be having some of you in my classes, so I look forward to seeing you then!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hitler was not Jewish...

All students in my history classes have been given their final exam study guide...happy studying, kids.

Students in 9th grade history are reading a detailed biography of Adolf Hitler.

My Aunt Marquita, who is mentioned in class from time to time, always said students should learn about Adolf Hitler as he had such a remarkable and terrible influence on the 20th century. I agree.

There are many myths about Adolf Hitler. One of the myths (which was taught by a Sprague teacher years ago) was that Hitler was Jewish. Though members of his family did work for Jewish employers from time to time, that did not mean they were possibly impregnated by them. Hitler was not Jewish!

Hitler hated the Jewish people. This was called anti-Semitism and had its origins in the emergence of science and race during the age of Social Darwinism and eugenics during the 1800's.

Students are learning the the Holocaust was a step by step process of what would be wholesale murders. Various ideas were floated for the Jewish problem: some included the far-fetched idea that Jews should be sent to the island of Madagascar. The more enlightened ideas of the Nazi regime were to include quick transport and quick death, and immediate disposal of the bodies.