Into that Dark Night
Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939
Structure of the Program
The multimedia program Into that Dark Night treats the first six years of the Nazi regime and the experience of German Jewry during that time. The program is designed to meet the curricular demands of undergraduate courses in European History and Holocaust Studies. Both high production values and convenient access to sophisticated content have been emphasized. Hence the program makes the historical material come alive at the same time that it supports the research needs of todays increasingly media-oriented college students.
Into that Dark Night is appropriate for use by advanced high school students. Indeed anyone interested in its profoundly important subject will find the program compelling. Holocaust topic for anyone interested in it.
Historians have long dealt with the dawning of the Holocaust from various perspectives and there exists massive documentation and comprehensive research on the subject. In this program, however, we attempt to present the material from a unique angle. While traditional treatments typically focus on either the German or the Jewish narrative, both are not commonly taught together. Into that Dark Night uses the interactive quality of multimedia to present the history of the 19331939 period as an integrated narrative. The narrative of German Jewry in those years--the persecution it experienced and its struggle for survival--are intertwined with the narrative of the rise and consolidation of the Nazi regime in every area of life. Likewise the racist ideology of the Nazis was directed not only at the Jews but against other population groups and elements of German society. As we tell the story, the description of the totalitarian Nazi regime is not just subordinate to the main story--the history of German Jewry. Similarly, the fate of the Jews is not just one more attribute of the Nazi regime. It is our premise that one cannot understand the persecution of the Jews and its characteristics without closely evaluating the essence of Nazism and the state that Nazism created. It is not enough to observe how the regime developed and operated without examining its attitude toward minorities generally and Jews particularly. For this reason, the German state and its Jewish population, from the time of the Nazi accession to power to the beginning of World War II, are always presented in a balanced tension at the center of the program.
The program was carefully devised by a team of researchers and was written under close academic supervision.
Structure of the Program
Because the subject is so complex, the program is organized both chronologically and thematically.
The 19331939 period is divided into three subperiods:
(1) January 1933 to September 1935, from the Nazi accession to the passage of the Nuremberg laws
(2) September 1935 to the end of 1937, consolidation of the Nazi regime
(3) 1938, the "year of decision," from Kristallnacht to the beginning of World War II.
The program explores three central themes in the context of these three subperiods:
(1) The Nazi State
(2) Anti-Jewish Policy
(3) The German Jews.
The program also contains another two short chaptersprologue and epilogue. The prologue discusses with Germany and the Jews at the time of the Weimar Republic, the years that preceded the Nazi accession to power. The epilogue takes up the fate of German Jewry during the war.
In accordance with this taxonomy, the program is structured like a square divided into a nine-part grid, each small square representing one chapter. We recommend that users work horizontally, by subject, or vertically, chronologically. However, the modular structure of the program means that users may begin wherever they choose without becoming disoriented, because each chapter has a short introduction that places it in its overall context.