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Subject: Social Studies

Grade: 9-12

Brief Description

Dr. Fisch says "love overcomes hate." Students explore in a written argument whether they agree or disagree with this position.


  • Students will become familiar with concepts like forgiveness, justice, retaliation, and moral responsibility.
  • Students will be able to choose a position and then present an argument for that choice.

Key words

Retaliation, perpetrators, discrimination, tolerance, reconciliation.

Lesson Plan

Consider these questions before writing your own response.

  • What does Dr. Fisch mean when he says love overcomes hate?
  • How did the actions of his father lead Dr. Fisch to that idea?
  • Does Dr. Fisch hate all Germans? Does he forgive them?
  • Should the Nazis be forgiven for their actions?
  • Should the German people be forgiven for their actions?
  • If you were Dr. Fisch, would you be forgiving or want to retaliate? Is there another response?
  • What about the Reconciliation Trials in South Africa? Are they providing another response?


Present your information and ideas in a written or oral report to the class. Try to answer any questions they may have.

Discussion Questions

  • What can hate do to a person?
  • What are the pros and cons of forgiving those who have hurt us?
  • Do we have the right to forgive on behalf of others (for instance, someone who has died)?

Click here for a printable version of this lesson plan.