Which of These Two Sources Would an Historian Studying Kristallnacht Find the More Useful?

Topics: Nazi Germany, Nazism, Adolf Hitler Pages: 2 (633 words) Published: April 15, 2012
Question (a) Study Sources A and B. Which of these two sources would an historian studying Kristallnacht find the more useful? Source A is a summary by the Historian Fritz Hesse. It is his account of a dinner on the evening of November 9th. Hesse wrote the account in 1954. He was a journalist who worked for the Nazis. Source A implies that Goebbels was to blame for the terrible act of Kristallnacht as he would do anything to win back Hitler’s support. But how useful is this source to a Historian? As it is a ‘summary’ it may have been reinterpreted since he first heard about the events. Not only this but his account is made less reliable as it was written 16 years after the event and therefore his memory may have been distorted. Fritz Hesse was a journalist working for the Nazis at the time of Kristallnacht, so he is more likely to defend the Nazi Party. However Hesse view given in Source A completely contradicts the idea of him defending his party. This may be because in 1954 the Nazi party was finished and he finally decided the truth could now be told. So in fact his account is more reliable than first thought as he could now speak out the true events of November 9th. Source B is a secret report prepared by the Nazi Party Supreme Court after the events of Kristallnacht. This source states that the German people were to blame for Kristallnacht in a ‘spontaneous’ attack on Jewish homes. As this report was prepared and published by the Nazis it is likely that they may have twisted the truth and pushed the blame onto the people to save themselves from blame. The fact that the report was published after the events of Kristallnacht further supports the sources unreliability as it seems as a cover up. Also as the source suggests that ‘such demonstrations were not to be organized by the party, but neither were they to be discouraged if they started spontaneously’, suggests the fact that the Nazis did not mind any spontaneous attacks showing their hatred for...
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