Topic 2: Political Institutions in Germany
Step #4: Application
Strategy: Transferring Knowledge to a New Situation
Make copies of Handout #16 (Americans are Natural Teachers of National Pride). Have the student read it silently and reflect on the message of the writer. Put the following purpose questions on the board before they begin reading:
- Why does this writer feel that it is hard for a German to say “I am proud to be German?” What incidents in the past have led to this feeling? What “patriotic acts” still bring a sense of the horrors of Nazism?
- What does the writer feel are signs that Germany today will come to recognize that it is a country in transition - that Germany today is a healthy democracy ready to take its place with the other countries of Europe and with the United States?
- Why is the writer beginning to understand that the right to be proud of your country must be earned? Why is she now unafraid to say she is “proud of my country’s achievements?”
- How does the writer feel about America’s understanding of the Germany of today? Would she be pleased that you are making the effort to learn more about Germany?
George Santayana (Born, 16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain; Died, 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.
This famous statement has produced many paraphrases and variants:
- Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
- Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.
- Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.
- Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.
- What is Germany doing to ensure that the mistakes of the past won’t be repeated?
- How is Germany moving into a new era of democracy and freedom for all of its citizens?