As we continue the timeline of history and our learning of it; we stepped into the 1930s, 40s and World War Two. We learnt of both sides, what went into the war, the before and after, and the causes and consequences of the war.


The National WWII Museum

In this project, called “Hidden Chapters of History”, we would learn about the subject through books regarding the topic, research, Zettlekasten, and videos. We would show our proficiency and understanding of WW2 through the creation of our very own podcast. The driving question for this project was “How might we use stories to understand the causes and consequences of WW2?”

Our Podcast

Now I know most readers won’t want to read through this whole post, so I’ll spare you the trouble and answer the driving question right away.

My answer to this is that we used the stories of WW2 specifically through reading our book, which is the cage to learn from real-life examples of the causes and the consequences of WW2

Now to start this project we were introduced to 4 books focused on WW2.  We had a choice between Salt to the Sea, Maus, All the Light We Cannot See, and The Cage. Which is what I chose. After we all chose our book, we teamed up into book groups to share our ideas and thoughts of the book, while connecting it to an aspect of WW2. My group consisted of Nate, Quinn, Annie, Nya, Nathan, and Indy. Every few days we would gather and talk about the section of the book we read. For each meetup, we had to bring discussion questions, art, connections or something of value. This part of the project was really meaningful to me. It gave me a chance to share ideas with group members and build connections to WW2 that would help me further in the project. The work I am most proud of from these book meetups is was the questions I brought to the table. I think these questions showed my proficient thinking, reflection of the book and how it related to our project and WW2.

After we finished the book, we had to choose a part of WW2 relating to the book that we were interested in. This is what we would build our podcast around. The topic I chose was the Jewish Police in the ghettos of WW2. I was drawn to this topic as I found it hard to understand how the Jewish Police could turn on people of their own culture and religion by sending them to work camps and killing centres. In my podcast, I talked about what the Jewish Police were, what caused them to turn on their people, how this related to The Cage and the overall causes and consequences of WW2. To further my credibility in this podcast and my overall knowledge of the subject, I decided I needed to extend my learning. I did this by watching a WW2 documentary titled WW2 in Colour, but more importantly, looking through artifacts that my Grandfather who served in WW2 left behind. I used the artifacts to try to get into the mind of someone who experienced WW2 and maybe get a better understanding of the mindset of people at the time. Specifically, I found papers recognizing my Grandfather as a POW and letters he sent as a POW. The document and letters helped me better understand what it would’ve been like to be in captivity whether an ally, axis, or Jew. 

  • My Grandfathers briefcase from WW2.

 Through the creation of this podcast, I gained an excellent understanding of WW2 and the causes and consequences surrounding it. I researched articles, used videos, books, and even artifacts from my Grandfather who served in WW2 to increase my knowledge in the subject. Overall, I believe I extended in this area as I researched on my own time using unique sources, and compiled all of this knowledge into my podcast.

Now onto the causes and consequences of WW2, the main aspect of the project. Throughout this project, we learned of many causes and consequences. From economics to propaganda, to military threats we learned about it all. The cause and consequence I used in my podcast was a division of people. I used I since it fit well regarding my topic, and could also be seen as a cause and a consequence which sparked my interest. A division of people caused WW2 through propaganda separating people. It separated the Jewish from the Christians. Even tearing apart relationships. A division of people was a consequence of WW2 as Germany was split into 4 parts, tensions still separated Jews from Christians, and the Jewish community itself was divided. If you want to learn more about the cause and consequence of WW2 to the full extent you can listen to my podcast, as well as my classmate’s podcasts.

As my Zettlekasten is growing, so is my knowledge of the world, so I decided to step up my Zettlekasten through this project. I took my own time outside of this project to further my thinking by reflecting on my literature notes and transforming many thoughts into permanent notes. I also stepped up my linking. I was able to link some of these zettles across projects, showing my advanced thinking, understanding and connection through PLP topics.

Here in this note titled “Causes of WWII” I transformed this into a permanent note through deep, reflective thinking in an aspect that interested me. The video mentioned how technical superiority from allies to axis shifted through the war. This had me thinking of if this would change the outcome of the war if it had been swapped around. I came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t have, as the end of the war, the allies took over, and technical superiority would only have added to their dominance.

I also connected this note to a note I took during our previous project The Ology of Apology. As the fat man bomb marked the end of the war, I figured there would need to be reparations and international relationships would need to be made up. This means apologies, and in our last project I took a note on what makes a good apology, so I linked the two notes and projects together.

Overall, my Zettlekasten in this project shows my proficient understanding and extension of thinking outside of the designated project guidelines.

To conclude this project, I used the cage to begin to get an understanding of WW2 and to learn from a real-world story. I used many elements to research for the podcast including articles, documentaries, real-world artifacts. Both of these helped my knowledge regarding the causes and consequences of WW2 which I included in my podcast. My Zettlekasten helped me organize my ideas and link thoughts through topics and projects. 

So what did I get from this project? I got many things, including a very proficient understanding of the Second World War itself, but also many underlying aspects including the Jewish Police, the cause and consequence, and how real people thought and acted as well as their mindset during WW2. This project sparked an interest in me to further research the subject, which may lead to exciting things in the future and has already lead to me discovering my Grandfathers artifacts and advanced thinking of how the war affects our world today.