In the third stage of the Facing History journey, students dive deeply into a historical case study, practicing historical thinking skills while finding links to the universal themes of human behavior they examined in the previous stages of the journey. The resources on this page, including many primary sources, begin with World War I and its aftermath in Europe, trace the rise and eventual demise of democracy in Germany, explore the rise of the Nazi Germany, and follow the steps that led to a second World War and the mass murder of six million Jews and millions of other victims.
The resources in this case study invite students to examine the idea of democracy and what is essential to support and sustain it. They also challenge students to think about the choices available to individuals in times of crisis and the factors that influence their decision-making. The dramatic and sometimes painful stories told in these resources require students to respond to history with not just their intellects but also with their hearts.