More Than Just Jews: Socratic Seminar Discussion

By: Cameron Brown

On Thursday, December 18, our classroom engaged in a discussion known as a Socratic Seminar. These seminars involve two circles: one is key in discussion on the inside, and the outer circle listens, takes notes, and asks questions by stepping in the inner circle’s “hot seat.”

These seminars are very engaging and provide different point of views and input from everyone, and happen to go by at a great speed! For some resources, you can look here:

I had the experience of participating in the 12/18 Seminar’s inner circle, and a fellow student in the inner circle brought up an interesting question:

“Why Jews?”

Then, everyone fell silent. But, just as suddenly as silence came, it went. Everyone wanted to provide input. Before the Seminar, everyone was collecting notes about common texts we read, but all of that reading and writing became (almost) obsolete in our conversation. As it turns out, many of us had a ton of background knowledge on World War II and Hitler.

I learned new things, such as his father was abusive and cold, and he wanted to become an artist before an art school gave him the boot. I also added my input to the group: how his mother’s family was Jewish, and how hypocritical he was.

In fact, the physical attributes of the perfect race he tried to fabricate was nothing like his own!

I realized that Hitler’s Third Reich committed genocide on other groups, not just Jews. Poles, Austrians, Russians, gays, the mentally challenged, Catholics, and Muslims were amongst the long list of peoples he sought to destroy.

Readers, I encourage you to look into the background of the war, the many other cultures, and millions of people who suffered under the wrath of Hitler’s Third Reich.