“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” -- Albus Dumbledore

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This website has been created for the 8th grade students of Scribner Middle School to access their English 8 content online.


The Holocaust is one of the darkest blemishes in our world's history. However, to understand how something as horrible as the Holocaust could happen, you must also understand why World War II started in the first place. Through this web quest, you will learn information from a variety of sources on many topics relating to WWII and the Holocaust. This quarter, we will read two true stories—the play The Diary of Anne Frank and the memoir I Have Lived a Thousand Years—about young people just like you who had to endure the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. With your gained insight, you will be able to better understand the context of these stories.

Before you begin...

  1. You may work through the information in any order.
  2. If you need to go back and re-watch a video, do so.

Part 1: WWII overview (Brainpop)

Username: scribner
Password: panthers

1. Who were the Axis powers?

2. Who were the Allied powers?

3. Who did Germany invade first in September 1939?

4. What caused the United States to enter World War II in 1941?

5. When did Germany surrender?
    When did Japan surrender? 

6. Where was Adolf Hitler born? Why is that ironic? 

7. Why was Germany’s loss in World War I so important to Hitler’s ability to easily rise to power? (what were the consequences of the loss) 

8. What was the title of the book Hitler wrote while in prison? 

9. What major event is known as the “turning point of the war”

10. How did Hitler die? With whom? 

11. List some of the things Jews were banned from doing after the Nuremberg Laws were passed.

12. What was the “outside world’s” reaction to the Nuremburg Laws?  

13. By the start of the war, what percentage of Warsaw’s population was Jewish? 

14. What was the purpose of the ghettos? 

15. After seeing some of the photos of the ghetto secretly taken by German photographer Heinz Jost, why do you think he was not supposed to be there? What did the pictures show?

16. How many MAIN camps were part of Auschwitz? How many sub-camps?

17. What did the sign "Arbeit Macht Frei" mean? Why was that ironic?

18. When was Auschwitz established (what year)? What was its purpose?

19. When inmates were brought in, what was one thing that happened to them that only happened at Auschwitz? 

20. Between 1942-1943, what new developments or actions were happening at Auschwitz?

21. What happened on the "death march"?

Here's an additional video if you'd like to get more info on Auschwitz:

PART 6: "First They Came..."

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

RESPOND: Were the German people as a whole guilty or the Holocaust, or just those actively supporting the Nazis? If someone does nothing to stop a crime, is he guilty of a crime himself?  Can someone who commits war crimes  or crimes against humanity be forgiven by claiming he was just following orders?


1. Take a tour of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

Watch the video on the main page, then click on the "GO STRAIGHT INSIDE" button to take a tour of the house.

© 2015 Jen London