In a Palo Alto CA high school in 1969, a history teacher was asked why people followed the Nazis and why other Germans didn’t stop them. The next day the teacher began an experiment which evolved into the Wave. Students in the Wave had slogans and a salute. They were all equal. They had rules to follow. They believed the Wave was going to lead to great things. And then it all went out of control. Kids were beaten up or ostracized for opposing the Wave. In just one week it had to be shut down and those students never again would wonder why people followed the Nazis or why other Germans didn’t stop them.
The Wave Todd Strasser is partly fascinating and partly disturbing. We’d all like to say if we had lived in 1930s Germany we’d have seen through Hitler’s rhetoric, but would we really? The Wave experiment proved mob mentality is strong, particularly among the youth, a group Hitler specifically targeted. This book should be required reading for teens studying World War II.
5 (out of 5) Stars
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