Consideration of American responses to Nazism during the 1930s and 1940s raises questions about the responsibility to intervene in response to persecution or genocide in another country. As soon as Hitler assumed power in 1933, Americans had access to information about Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews and other groups. Although some Americans protested Nazism, there was no sustained, nationwide effort in the United States to oppose the Nazi treatment of Jews. Even after the US entered World War II, the government did not make the rescue of Jews a major war aim.
Explore this question to learn about the factors and pressures that influenced America’s responses to Nazism.
The meanings of “race” and “racism” have varied over time and in different political, social, and cultural settings. Nazi racism and American racism are distinct and complex topics. This discussion question focuses on the history of racial antisemitism in Germany and its relationship to racism in the United States. Learn more about some aspects of these histories that are similar and some that are different.
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