Month: June 2019

Capstone – Share!

Have you ever recorded yourself and there’s such a big chance you might mess up but you only get one chance? Well, I just did that.

I messed up a little. I could’ve done way better but I just blanked out on the words and kept having to look down at my index cards, which you’re not really supposed to do. But I could’ve done worse, and I’m happy I didn’t. I was very nervous. Like, shaking nervous. I went first in my group but listened to two other people that went before me in another group; Group 2. I was in Group 3. So what happened is that the first group went to the computer lab at snacktime, and everyone else had snack. Including me. But it was a very early snack; 9:30am. But then we got called inside and we could practice our presentation or work on a fantasy project we have. But then Group 2 got called to go to the Computer Lab to go. Then I started feeling very jittery and unable to relax. Soon, Group 1 came in and started telling their experience. One girl who wanted to remain anonymous said that you shouldn’t go last, because the people in the group after are waiting outside but talking, and it gets caught on the audio. Soon, Group 3 got called and me, my friend Logan, and two other boys named Noah and Tate came and went up the ramp to the Computer Lab. We sat outside and talked about baseball, until we were called in. My friend named Lindsey went, and then a boy named Sam. Then, Mr. Casal called my name and my stomach flip-flopped. But I did it.

I think I did good overall and Capstone was a really fun project. I think it really prepared me for middle school. And it taught me to time-manage. It was a fun experience. Here is a video of my presentation.

Thanks for following how my Capstone research project went!

Capstone – Finishing up!

Have you ever done a presentation to a lot of people? Well, I’m going to on friday! And we’ve kind of put our slideshows and scripts together and stuff. So, now, all we have to do is do the final touches!

Lately, I’ve done a lot of work on my script, in fact, I have actually deleted half of it because well timing it to see how long is was, and it was… drumroll please… wait for it… 12 minutes. And you know how long it can be? 6 minutes at most. So. I needed to delete half of my script that I worked super super hard on. I was not happy. At all. But, I think it still has the effects that make it good. So its okay. I ended up having 14 slides, and a little paragraph for each of them. I put them on index cards, and I started practicing. Each day, while my mom makes my breakfast, I go on the computer and practice my presentation. The only problem is that sometimes when I rehearse it, if my younger brother Austin is around, he gets mad and annoyed because he has heard it so many times. And, sometimes, at my softball games (yes, I play softball), I rehearse it in my head to get more used to it. But thats only when I’m in the dugout. So, for me, my script is kind of memorized! I mean, occasionally I have to look down at the index cards with my script on them, but overall, I’m good. Another thing is that it took a lot of concentration and time to get them cut out in perfect rectangles, and to glue them down perfectly straight, not crooked. But, more recently, I have done some animations and transitions. I started it one morning at home, and I thought it would only take a few minutes, but it ended up taking 30 minutes, and I had to go to school, and I wasn’t even done. It took even more time at school. Because I made transitions from slide to slide, and I wanted a list to just appear instead of do the cube affect. But I finally got it. I’m pretty much good to go. Here’s my script.

 

Slide 1

Hi. I’m Gracie. I’m doing my Capstone research project on the WWII Resistance. My main inquiry question is how the World War II Resistance impacted World War II. I hope you enjoy!

Slide 2

I had read a few books lately about the WWII Resistance, and I wanted to learn more about it. I looked on the internet and found that I wanted to do it for my Capstone.

Slide 3

What is the Resistance? It is the name to refer to the different resistance movements. There were Resistance movements in every occupied country. What they did was resisted against the Nazis, but the key point is that it was mostly in secret. They did stuff like derailing trains with German artillery in them, saved Jews, assassinated Nazi officers and members, and created propaganda, which means riling people up by posters or rallys or uprisings. They also published Underground Newspapers, spied, and forged documents.

Slide 4

Members came from all economic levels, and all political leanings. There were at least 27 failed attempts to assassinate Hitler with many more planned, and many of those attempts were done by Resistance members.

Slide 5

Well, what was the Holocaust? The Holocaust was a systematic murder of all Jews. It was the worst genocide that we know of. On January 30, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. He thought that Jews were causing all the world’s problems, so he used them as a scapegoat. Soon, limited rights were placed on Jews.

Slide 6

They were forced to live outside Germany, in Nazi controlled Ghettos where they were kept, and not allowed to get out. Things got more and more extreme for the Jewish people. They were forced to wear Yellow Stars of David on their clothes to show they were inferior to other people. What makes it even worse is that people were encouraged to harass Jews on the streets.

Slide 7

Then, in 1941, Hitler and the Nazis came up with the “Final Solution”. This was to “exterminate” all the Jewish people in the world. Millions of Jews were killed in concentration camps. At the end, unfortunately, there were 6 million Jews that were murdered. This is a picture of Auschwitz. It was a well known concentration camp.

Slide 8

Only few people helped Jews escape. These people “were motivated by opposition to Nazi racism”, or by religious or moral thoughts and followings. Helping Jews was a big risk. In a lot of places, “providing” shelter or helping them escape was punishable by (if you were lucky) death, or worse, death camps.

Slide 9

To help Jews, people did many things. Some people hid Jews in their house or hosted a secret school for them. This is a picture of Anne Frank’s Secret Annex. Others provided them with false papers so they could live life as a non-Jew. Some resistance volunteers who worked in a nursery secretly arranged adoptions. With the Jewish parent’s permission, they saved young Jewish babies from concentration camps by giving them to non-jewish families who wanted another baby.

Slide 10

I interviewed a Jewish survivor of WWII named Andy Sarkany. He was a kid when he lived in a Ghetto, and life was hard there. They didn’t have lots of supplies, food, first aid equipment, and more. One day, he was playing at school and he hit his head severely, his injury could lead to death if not treated right away. Everyone working at the school, all the teachers, were jews. Except for one who had permission to go out, unlike all the others. He was bleeding, gushing blood, and the one Catholic teacher removed the star from his jacket, and got him outside the ghetto, and took him to the hospital. She saved his life while risking her own. So, not only did the Resistance help Jewish people, but so did regular civilians. This is a picture of in a Ghetto.

Slide 11

Have you ever heard of the Underground Camera? Well, what it was was people who carried cameras around secretly during WWII, even though they weren’t supposed to, because the Nazis didn’t want people seeing that what they were doing was wrong. They took pictures that if Nazis saw them they would be killed. Pictures showed evidence of Nazis torturing or killing Jewish people.

Slide 12

Most pictures were taken because people wanted to create propaganda. Many photos captured proof of mass shootings, hangings, and the punishment of Resistance members that got given away. These shots were strictly forbidden by the head of the Schutzstaffel, a powerful organization that agreed with Hitler.

Slide 13

But, there is some negitive effects about it. One thing is that the resistance was not a unified movement. There were rival organizations. This happened because there were people of all political leanings, and they disagreed, even though they were all working toward the same goal: defeating the Nazis. Also, when a member of the Resistance kills a German officer, or a Nazi, the Nazis would torture and kill innocent civilians as punishment. And sometimes, Resistance members would fight against Allied soldiers!

Slide 14

Overall, I learned that the Resistance in WWII didn’t really change the course of WWII, but they saved so many people, and fought for their rights, which was the right thing to do. It encouraged people after World War II to stand up for their rights, just like they did. They saved hundreds of thousands of people while risking their own life, pushing through the danger. For more information, go to my blog at http://blogs.scarsdaleschools.org/gliebman26/ or scan this QR code. Thanks for listening!

Capstone – Answering My Main Inquiry Question!

Have you ever wondered why no one ever stood up against the Nazis? Well, people have stood up for their rights during WWII. They were called the WWII Resistance. They saved lives of millions of people, and changed the world. My main inquiry question is how did the World War II Resistance impact World War II?. I will be talking about what is the Resistance, what happened in World War II, how the Resistance helped Jewish people, what is the underground camera, how the Resistance impacted the future, and and what are the negative effects of the World War II Resistance.

 

What is the Resistance? Well, it is the name to refer to the different resistance movements. There were resistance movements in every occupied country. What they did was resisted against the Nazis, but the key point is that it was mostly in secret. They are also known as the Underground. They did stuff like derailing trains with German artillery and Nazis, saved Jews, which I will talk a little bit more about later, assassinated Nazi officers and members, created propaganda, and I know that you don’t know what that means, it means riling people up by posters or rallys or uprisings. They published Underground Newspapers, created sabotage, did espionage, which is spying on the other side, forged documents, and even recaptured towns that were occupied! They did outright warfare, which is really dangerous. They also helped crashed Allied pilots that were stuck in the German’s zone. Members came from all economic levels, all political leanings, and Emigrants, students, Aristocrats, Conservative Roman Catholics, and also citizens that were liberals, anarchists, and communists. There were at least 27 failed attempts to assassinate Hitler with many more planned, and many of those attempts were done by Resistance members. The largest movement known contained at least 400,000 people. It was called the Polish Home Army. The small ones were called Resistance Cells. They had armed men and women, and in rural areas, they were called Marquis. This is hard to believe, but kids were in the Resistance too! I read a book, called Skylark and Wallcreeper, by Anne O’Brien Carelli, and it was about this girl who dressed up as a boy, and every night, after curfew, she went out and sent messages to French Resistance neighbors (this plot was in France) that the sabotage plan was a go. Without her, these plans would not be completed. And if she knew danger was coming, she would tell them that the plan was a no-go. She herself helped millions of plans to destroy the Nazis. In another book I read, called The Girl In The Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse, a 16 year old girl joined the Dutch Resistance and saved a girl’s life. Many children did it even though it was very dangerous and a big self-sacrifice to their young lives, as well as for all the members of the Resistance.

 

Well, what is the Holocaust? It was what a lot of Resistance members were fighting against. The Holocaust was a systematic murder of all Jews. It was the worst genocide that we know of. Genocide means trying to kill a big amount of people for no good reason. On January 30, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. He thought that Jews were causing all the world’s problems, including Germany losing WWI and having the depression, so he used them as a scapegoat. Soon, limited rights were placed on Jews, slowly, like a frog in boiling water. They were forced to live outside Germany, in Nazi controlled Ghettos. Things got more and more extreme for the Jewish people. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws prevented Jews from being German citizens. They were forced to wear Yellow Stars of David on their clothes to show they were inferior to other people, that they were Jews. What makes it even worse is that people were encouraged to harass Jews on the streets. But, there was one night that made things 10x more extreme. On this night, people located Jewish shops and looted and destroyed them, killed more than 100 Jews, took 300,000 innocent people (mostly Jewish people) and took them to concentration camps, and set holy temples on fire. This night of terror was called Kristallnacht, or in English, The Night Of Broken Glass. Then, in 1941, Hitler and the Nazis came up with the “Final Solution”. This was to “exterminate” all the Jewish people in the world. Millions of Jews were killed in concentration camps. When they got to the concentration camps, a doctor picked out who was young and strong. These people were lucky. They were forced to work for hours each day. And when they got too weak, which everyone did because they only gave them a small meal a day, they got killed. You might be thinking: why would you want this? But, the truth is, if the doctor didn’t think you were young and strong, you would go straight to the gas chambers. They died from that, cremation, starvation, malnutrition, torture, or death marches. Not only was Hitler trying to kill Jews, but also Slavic people, Gypsies, Homosexuals, and Communists. At the end, unfortunately, there were 6 million Jews that were murdered, and at least 10 million people murdered. It was a horrible thing, but, the resistance fought against it.

 

Well, something I wondered was How did the Resistance help the Jewish people? And I decided to do a little bit of research about it, and I learned a little bit about it. Only few people helped Jews escape. These people were called “Rescue and Resistance”. These people who helped them “were motivated by opposition to Nazi racism”, compassion, which means feeling bad and empathetic, or by religious or moral thoughts and followings. In a few scarce occasions, whole communities helped save Jews. But more often, individually. Helping Jews was a big risk. In a lot of places, “providing” shelter or helping them escape was punishable by (if you were lucky) death, or worse, death camps. Once, in the occupied village of Le-Chambon-Sur-Lignon, the whole community helped thousands of Jews escape Nazi persecution (that means Nazis discriminating against them). Even though the villagers knew the danger, they were determined, inspired by religious views and moral duty. To help Jews, people did stuff like hiding them in their house, hosting a secret school for them to help them get educated because there was no school that allowed Jewish people to attend, provided them with a false identity so they could live life like a non-Jew, which, in their case, was good, because, like I said, Jews were mistreated at that time. They also volunteered at the nursery that Jewish babies were being held in before them and their family got deported to concentration camps. The resistance volunteers secretly gave them to non-jewish families who wanted another baby, so that the baby could be raised as someone who was not Jewish and have their life be saved (of course the volunteers asked the parents first). Another thing they did to help Jewish people was to transport them to Switzerland, and because that was a neutral country and not occupied, they were safe there. I interviewed a Jewish survivor of WWII named Andy Sarkany. He was a kid when he lived in a Ghetto, and life was hard there. They didn’t have lots of supplies, food, first aid equipment, and more. One day, he was playing at school and he hit his head severely, his injury could lead to death if not treated right away. Everyone working at the school, all the teachers, were jews. Except for one who had permission to go out, unlike all the others. He was bleeding, gushing blood, and the one Catholic teacher removed the star from his jacket, and took him outside the ghetto, and took him to the hospital. She saved his life. While risking her own. So, not only did the Resistance help Jewish people, but so did regular civilians.

 

Have you ever heard of the Underground Camera? Well, what it was was people who carried cameras around secretly during WWII, even though they weren’t supposed to, because the Nazis didn’t want people seeing later in history that they were war criminals, but people did it anyway to show people what they were doing. It started when a town called Wherchmacht started recruiting people to do this for their propaganda campaigns. They took pictures that they would be killed if Nazis saw them. Pictures showed evidence of wounded or killed soldiers, or Nazis torturing or liquidating (that means killing) Jewish people. Unfortunately, at that time, when you took a picture, you have to take the photo to someone’s house who had the job of a censor, which means to get it printed, so you couldn’t do it yourself and you’d would have to bring it to someone who had an actual job of doing it. But, if you gave the forbidden photos to someone who supported Hitler and the Nazis (which a lot of people did), then you would get in big trouble. Not only that, but the photos would get burned, and the camera that cost a fortune too. But many people did it anyway, and saved it for after the war. Most pictures were taken because people wanted to create propaganda. Many photos captured proof of mass shootings, hangings, and the punishment of Resistance members that got given away. These shots were strictly forbidden by the head of the Schutzstaffel, an organization that agreed with Hitler’s views, and Hitler. The pictures later became evidence that Hitler and the Nazis were war criminals, and that the Holocaust did really happen. More on that later. The Resistance hid them in coats or handbags, and even in baby carriages. They also got snapshots of warfare and occupation, confiscation of goods, which means Nazis taking away people’s belongings, resistance members, concentration camps, and others. “These photographs are painful to look at,” says author Sarah Boxer. These photos really changed history.

 

Now, I know you’re thinking, Well, what’s wrong with the resistance? Whats the negative parts? The problem? There is none, right? But, there is some bad stuff about it. One thing is that the resistance was not a unified movement. There were, believe it or not, rival organizations. This happened because there were people of all political leanings, and they disagreed, even though they were all working toward the same goal: defeating the Nazis. Most rival organizations were non-communist against communist. If all Resistance movements were unified, they would have got a lot more done, and maybe changed history. Also, when a member of the Resistance kills a German officer, or a Nazi, the Nazis would torture and kill innocent civilians as punishment. And sometimes, Resistance members would fight against Allied soldiers! Why? Nobody knows! Maybe they thought that they were spies, and working for Hitler and the Nazis. Unfortunately, organizing was dangerous, so much of the resisting was done individually, but that means that if they run into trouble, they are more likely to get outnumbered. Organizing was dangerous because the more people, the more suspicious. The more suspicious, the more likely they could get caught, or stopped, or thrown in jail. Or someone wouldn’t be true to the plan, and spill the beans to someone who would get them in trouble. This can make it dangerous for the people getting saved, as well as the people saving them. This can start a chain reaction of arresting people that were just trying to do the right thing. Information that was supposed to be secret could be forced out of people, by threatening to harm or even kill people if they didn’t give the wanted information. This can lead to even thousands of people killed, because of one person who wasn’t smart about it. There is also a problem of when they are going to do it. Most likely, it’s a occupied place, and the Nazis are on the lookout for any sign of disobedience. And also, back then, the Nazis placed a rule on all the occupied country: you can’t be out of your house, or someone else’s house by, lets say, 10 o’ clock. So they couldn’t do it at night. And if they did, then they would get caught and shot. But, like I said, they did stuff good too.

 

Well, how did they affect the future? Because we know they did. Many people said that the Resistance was an inspiring example of patriotic behavior and bravery, which inspired other resistance movements post-WWII. Some other movements were Pathet Lao, Anti-communist movement, Free Wales Army, and Hungary Uprising. But, there are still resistance movements going on today, specifically a lot in Africa, such as Mai-Mai, who defends their local territory against other armed groups. When members started propaganda campaigns, they swayed Americans, and that’s part of the reason that America was on our side, and not the Nazis, and Hitler’s. An example of a propaganda campaign poster says this: “In England, our homes are safe and secure, our mothers and wives are safe, and our children still play and fear no harm. In Belgium, their homes are destroyed, their women are murdered or worse, and their children are dead or slaves.” This was a poster that was posted in England, encouraging them to do something. Lastly, the photos that people took with the Underground Camera proved that the Nazis and Hitler were war criminals, and if they decided not to take the pictures, then Hitler and the Nazis would not be charged for war crime, crimes against humanity, war of aggression, and genocide. These are very bad crimes, and they should never be forgotten. Without the Resistance, there could have been something like the Holocaust again.

 

All in all, the Resistance in WWII didn’t really change the course of WWII, but they saved so many people, and fought for their rights, which was the right thing to do. It encouraged people after World War II to stand up for their rights, just like they did. They saved hundreds of thousands of people while risking their own life, pushing through the danger that comes to haunt them. What do you think about the WWII Resistance?

 

Resources:

“Access Britannica School.” Britannica School, school.eb.com/levels/elementary/article/resistance/603288.

“BrainPOP.” BrainPOP, www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/worldhistory/worldwarii/.

“French Resistance Facts for Kids.” Wikt:Sabotage, kids.kiddle.co/French_Resistance.

“French Resistance.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 May 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Resistance.

Gelder, Lawrence Van. “Fritz and Ingeborg Kahlenberg, Dutch Wartime Photographers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Oct. 1996, www.nytimes.com/1996/10/23/arts/fritz-and-ingeborg-kahlenberg-dutch-wartime-photographers.html.

Little, Becky. “This Teenager Killed Nazis With Her Sister During WWII.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 19 Sept. 2018, www.history.com/news/dutch-resistance-teenager-killed-nazis-freddie-oversteegen.

Online, Spiegel. “Images of World War II: How the Camera Became a Weapon – SPIEGEL ONLINE – International.” SPIEGEL ONLINE, SPIEGEL ONLINE, 1 Feb. 2005, www.spiegel.de/international/images-of-world-war-ii-how-the-camera-became-a-weapon-a-339728.html.

Rappaport, Doreen. Beyond Courage: the Untold Story of Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust. Candlewick Press, 2014.

“Resistance during World War II.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 May 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resistance_during_World_War_II.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/rescue-and-resistance.

“World Book Online Reference Center | Online Reference Book| Online Encyclopedia.” World Book, www.worldbookonline.com/kids/home#article/ar830021.

Capstone – Site Visit!

So, I think that you know that we have to not only have an interview, but a site visit too. I visited The Holocaust & And Human Rights Education Center in Harrison.

The Holocaust & And Human Rights Education Center teach lessons about the Holocaust. They defend the rights of all people to be treated with dignity and respect. They tell kids to speak up and act against all forms of bigotry and prejudice. It’s a nonprofit organization, and serves Westchester, Putnam, and Fairfield. The center was created in 1994, and their website says that since then they have taught more than 1750 teachers about the Holocaust, genocide and other human rights crimes. These teachers then bring the lessons to their students, mostly middle and high schoolers, and the center reaches many people in this way. The teachers try to make the past more interesting to kids growing up today so they want to resist prejudice they see in their own lives and communities.

My mom talked to another mom of someone on my softball team and she mentioned the Holocaust & And Human Rights Education Center. My mom and I called and made an appointment to go visit. When I got there and it was a big office building, and I went up the elevator. I had a lot of trouble finding the room, but I found it. It had a whole wall with built in bookshelves and a table and a bunch of chairs. The person we had talked with and made an appointment with was not there, but another woman showed us around and suggested we look at the library. It had a whole shelf filled with books about the resistance movements in WWII. I got a lot of information but didn’t find much that was good for my essay. Luckily, there were some quotes I found hanging on the wall that will help enhance my project. The site visit was a little bit of a disappointment after I thought my interview went so well. But at least I got a little bit of information.

My next blog post will be when I finish my Capstone essay, so more on that soon!