The Modern History

Topics: World War II, Nazi Germany, The Holocaust Pages: 7 (2511 words) Published: July 29, 2012
Year 12 Modern History
Assessment Task
Outcomes assessed by this task:
H1.1 describe the role of key features, issues, individuals, groups and events of selected twentieth century studies H1.2 analyse and evaluate the role of key features, issues, individuals, groups and events of selected twentieth-century studies H3.1 ask relevant historical questions

H3.2 locate, select and organize relevant information from different types of sources H3.4 explain and evaluate differing perspectives and interpretations of the past H4.1 use historical terms and concepts appropriately

H4.2 communicate a knowledge and understanding of historical features and issues, using appropriate and well-structured oral and written forms Personality in the Twentieth Century – Albert Speer
Weighting of this task: 20% Research

There are two parts to this research assessment task:
* Question A requires you to conduct research in order to answer a set question, and then write your response in timed conditions in class without your notes. You will have 20 minutes to answer this question in class. * Question B requires you to conduct research in order to answer a question and hand it in. You must have a bibliography. Question A

Describe the role played by the personality you have studied in national AND/OR international history.10 marks

Question B
‘People are swept along by events. Some individuals use events to advantage.’ How accurate is this statement in relation to the personality you have studied?
15 marks

I n your response to Question B you must clearly put forward your own argument, and include reference to the perspectives of two other historians from your own research. Question B must include a bibliography. Answer this question in 1500 words.

Due Date:
1st June 2011.
Question A - will be written in your lesson June 1st.
Question B - both classes are to hand in Question B at the start of lunch in room E31 1st June.

There are very conflicting viewpoints on how Speer is viewed as a person of the state. Speer’s knowledge of the Holocaust, including his use of forced labour and the eviction of the Berlin Jews and lastly his position as Minister of Armaments and Munitions are strongly argued by historians whether he used these events to his own personal advantage, that he liked the power that he kept gaining in his career, this is evident through the knowledge of such historians such as Dan Van Der Vat and Matthias Schmidt,and then on the other hand it was argued by historians such as Allan Bullock, Gitta Sereny and William Shirer very sympathetically that Speer was unaware of such issues, and that Speer was swept along by the events only to please Hitler and to succeed in the job that he was so good at, being an architect.

Albert Speer’s knowledge about the Holocaust including forced labour and the eviction of the Jews in Berlin has been argued considerably between different historians. Speer had accepted responsibility insofar as he had been a senior member of the Government that carried out the extermination of the Jews, this helped to create a very positive view on Speer and had showed that he was swept along by the events and did not know what was going on. American journalist, William Shirer noted: “Speer… made the most straightforward impression of all… during the long trial (he) spoke honestly and with no attempt to shirk his responsibly and his guilt”. Shirer believed that at the Nuremburg Trial’s he did not try to avoid his responsibility and his guilt in his part in the holocaust. Gitta Sereny agrees strongly with Shirer, believing that Speer was “an intensely lonely man”. She has said that Speer was “an emotionally block man” explaining that he turned a blind eye to the events of the Holocaust, not knowing what was going on and, as Alan Bullock noted, Speer was “…interested far more in the job that he had to do than in the power it brought him”. The three of these historians have a...
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