The Windmill & the Teenaged Nazi Activity 1: Understanding The Windmill & the Teenaged Nazi

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Grade Level: Grades 8 – 12
Subject: Social Studies, Canadian History, Remembrance Day Activities
Materials needed: questions and access to computer/high-speed Internet

  • Students will be familiar with the main countries involved in WWII.
  • Students will be able to identify social implications of war and make connections to modern day conflicts.
  • Students will be able to use primary artefacts and appreciate their role (both insights and limitations) in understanding history.

1. Steps for self-guided questions for videos 1-5:

Step 1: Watch Introductory Video (if already viewed students can skip this step).
Step 2: Select The Windmill & the Teenaged Nazi story line
Step 3:  Watch Video 1 segment and answer questions.
Step 2: Repeat process with four other videos.
Step 3: Watch Video 6

Students may need to visit the Themes & Images section to answer some of the questions.

Video 1: Knife on the Back

1.  Identity which two paintings that depict events from WWI. (Hint: Visit the Themes & Images section.)
            Answer: “War in the Air” by C.R.W Nevinson and "Surrender of the German Fleet" by Percy F.S. Spence.

Interpretation & Research
2. George O’Gorman was an amateur artist who lived in the small town of Cobalt and served in Korea. Do you think the painting is a realistic portrayal of the Korean conflict? Why or why not?  (Hint: Students might want to view Test of Will – Canada in Korea – Part 1  playing time: approximately 10 minutes)
            Answers may vary.

Video 2:  Tough Teens

1. What does the term Hitler Jugend mean?
            Answer: Hitler Youth.

Interpretation & Research
2.  Both boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 18 were part of the Hitler Jugend and participated in physical exercise. Boys were also trained in marching, shooting and grenade throwing. Find an example of a modern conflict that involves child soldiers. Do you think the Hitler Jugend and the use of children in the modern conflicts are similar? (Hint: Students can learn more about child soldiers in modern conflict by visiting and/or )
            Answers may vary.

Video 3:  It’s a World War

1. Name three countries involved in WWII besides England, France, United States or Canada.

            Answers: Other countries involved were Russia, Japan, Australia, Italy etc.

Research & Interpretation
2. Joe and Lottie examine a series of maps to discover more about the path of the Algonquin Regiment during WWII.
a) Are maps a primary or secondary source of information?
b) Find the three countries you identified above and find them on a map of the world. Compare the location of these countries to where the Algonquins were fighting in France. c) What issues arise from fighting a war spread out over so many countries?
            Answer a: Primary
            Answer b: answers could vary
            Answer c: answers may vary but could include issues such as complicated movement of troops and supplies, fighting in very different climates, fighting far away from supply lines, inexperienced troops fighting in difficult terrain etc.

Video 4:  Into the Meat Grinder 

1. Who were the soldiers in the German 12th Panzer Division?
            Answer: The members of the Hitler Jugend were in the 12th Panzer. These were young men who had been indoctrinated from a very young age in the ideas of Nazism.

Research & Interpretation
2. There were many issues that affected the success of the Allies’ Operation Totalize following the invasion of Normandy (D-Day). Name three.
            Answers may vary but could include: The two regiments did not have significant experience, there were so many tanks and vehicles that the roads became congested, poor visibility, poor communications.

Video 5: Marshes from Hell

1.  Name the three countries the Algonquin Regiment passed through after landing on the beaches of Normandy. 
            Answer: France, Belgium, and The Netherlands (Holland). The Algonquins ended up fighting in Germany.

Research & Interpretation
2. Why was fighting during the Battle of the Scheldt so difficult?
            Answers may vary but could include: fierce German resistance, fighting in swamps, need to use awkward boats to move through the Scheldt, much of the  terrain had been flooded and was water-logged.