Produced in association with


 Van der Lubbe
Dr Sack
A Hayes
Fireman Roth
Herr Wingurth


Sefton Delmer

You are: Fireman Roth

The glass of the huge dome roof broke, and caused a big up-draught of air. This made the fire burn right up through the cracks in the dome, and the flames were dragged through the whole building.

This was the report of Fireman Roth at the trial of Van der Lubbe in 1933. His evidence was used to prove that the fire did not need a lot of petrol and chemicals. Of course, he had been given his job, and asked to say this, by the Nazis.

1.       What was the Reichstag roof made of?

2.       When it broke, how did this help to make the fire much worse?

3.       So is it true that a little fire might have got out of control very quickly?

4.       So would such a fire have needed lots of petrol and chemicals to start it?

5.       What is your job?

6.       So do you know what you are talking about?

7.       Do you know more about fires than, say, a journalist?


8.       You are Chief Fireman in Berlin?

9.       Who gave you your job?

10.   Were you asked to say this by the Nazis at the trial of Van der Lubbe?

11.   If you did not say this, is it possible that you might have lost your job?


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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