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Write a 5 page essay (double-spaced, 12 point font) on one of the questions below. A successful essay will reflect your own original thinking and analysis in addition to command of the material in the reading and lectures. Your essay should state a thesis and then argue it by using material from the relevant readings, lectures and/or films.
In order to receive a grade higher than a B, you must refer extensively to the reading in addition to the lectures, no outside sources! Please footnote the reading (it is not necessary to footnote the lectures unless you are quoting a particular interpretation of the lecturer that may be controversial or contestable). Footnote format is up to you (you may do notes at the bottom of the page, end of the essay or in parenthesis within your text).
Write a 5 page essay on one of the following questions.
1. The historian Karl Schleunes has referred to the period of the 1930s as “the twisted road to Auschwitz.” What does he mean by this? Develop an argument for or against this description, using evidence from Nazi ideas before they took power and from their policy on the Jews from 1933 to 1940 (include evidence from the first year of World War II).
2. Dawid Sierakowiak has left us a precious document of life in the Lodz Ghetto. Reconstruct the political and cultural response to the Jews to conditions in the ghetto. Offer some comparison between the Lodz Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto, both in terms of conditions and in terms of the Jewish response.
3. In Neighbors, Jan Gross reconstructs an incident in Eastern Poland a few weeks after the Nazi invasion of Russia. How does that incident fit into the larger pattern of what unfolded in the weeks and months after the invasion? How was it different? How does Gross account for the actions of the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne and is his account persuasive? What are some alternative explanations?

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