Hello, Honors Language and Literature Scholars.
The link below will bring you to a startling and disturbing, yet historically all too familiar story...
Read carefully. Then, comment to how this article illustrates the destructive power of words--in this case, used in propaganda. Most of you have studied World War 2 in your Humanities and Language/Literature courses of the past. If you have not, now is the time. We will be talking about WW2 in the context of both literature (The Book Thief) and Language (Language and power, propaganda). You have probably also heard the phrase, "History repeats itself."
Let me be the first to tell you, if you have not already been told: this phrase is only true if we do NOT study the events of the past.
Words have power. This news is not good or bad, it is fact. This power can be used to destroy and kill. Words are often where war begins. This is currently where we are in Europe. One group of people, who have, throughout history, endured horrific suffering and discrimination, is in that world of suffering once again. The question is, what are WE, those who know and study history, those who refuse to tolerate evil and cruelty, going to do about it?
Here is the irony: just as words can create problems, they are also where the solution begins. What will we say? Will we speak up? Will we use our voice to stand up against this now before it goes too far....before we are led, again into a world of destruction and chaos?
So now I ask you: what are your concerns? What do you see, feel, hear, when you read the words in this article? Sophie Scholl, German Resistance fighter, once said, "Stand up for what you believe; even if you are standing alone." At the age of nineteen, Sophie was convicted and killed by her Nazi government for her words of resistance. She dared to stand up against her government. Why did they react this way? Why did this young girl create such a stir? Because words have incredible power. They begin and end violence. They begin and end wars. They can bring life and death.
How will you use your words today?
I would love to hear your thoughts on the article. I think you all have the potential to be great leaders. Be the hope the world needs.