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 Van der Lubbe
Dr Sack
A Hayes
Fireman Roth
Herr Wingurth


Sefton Delmer

You are: A Hayes

Heines the SA chief could not have started the fire. He, his wife and children, and their nurse, and their friends, were in the far-away city of Gleiwitz on the night of the fire. Heines gave a speech at a public meeting there on the night the fire started.

Hayes was a German lawyer, who worked in Berlin. He wrote this in 1942, in the middle of World War II. He would have known what happened to people who went against the Nazis.


1.       It has been claimed that the Reichstag fire was started by 3 SA men, one of whom was the SA leader, Heines. Could Heines have started the fire?

2.       Why couldn’t Heines have started the fire?

3.       Who was with Heines in Gleiwitz on the night of the fire?

4.       Did anyone else in Gleiwitz see Heines on the night of the fire?

5.       What was Heines doing on the night of the fire?


6.       What is your job, Herr Hayes?

7.       And where do you work?

8.       Do you know what the Nazis do to people who go against them?

9.       So is it true to say that – if you were a weak man – you might have been frightened to say anything else?

10.   Is the Nazi government brilliant at propaganda?

11.   So, is it possible that they could have made up the information about the public meeting?

12.   If the Nazis made up a story about a public meeting, would anyone in Germany have dared to contradict them, in the middle of a war?


William Shirer 
Arthur Koestler
Herr Rauschning
Franz Halder
10 Witness question sheets, Prosecution/Defence sheets, Complete teachers pack

See the video of the roleplay at the International School of Toulouse

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