James M Deem has introduced thousands of middle school and high school students both in the United States and internationally to the subject of Kristallnacht through his compelling PowerPoint presentation.


Speaking to students at the International School of Berne (Switzerland) about Kristallnacht


His presentation introduces students to the events that took place shortly after Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He describes the boycott of Jewish businesses that transpired on April 1, 1933, and the burning of "un-German" books that occurred on May 10, 1933. He outlines the many laws and decrees that were enacted by the Nazis over the next five years to remove the rights of Germany's Jewish population. 

He then introduces the events that occurred immediately before Kristallnacht: the forced immigration of 17,000 Polish Jews from Germany in October 1938. He traces the activity of Herschel Grynszpan after he learned that his family was among the deported Jews and how his violent act was used by Nazi propagandists to instigate a four-day pogrom that later became known as Kristallnacht. 

Throughout, he reads primary source passages to illustrate the events of Kristallnacht. He concludes by discussing how Kristallnacht was the opening movement of what became the Holocaust. His PowerPoint presentation includes many historical images that illustrate what happened before, during, and after Kristallnacht in Germany and Austria.

This presentation is suitable for students aged 12 and up who are studying the Holocaust.


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