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 Van der Lubbe
Dr Sack
A Hayes
Fireman Roth
Herr Wingurth


Sefton Delmer

You are: Dr Sack

It is silly to suggest that the Nazis would have chosen Van der Lubbe to start the fire – a tramp, begging for food, in rags, sleeping outside. Only a fool would have told him to climb up the outside of the building, break windows, and then get caught starting the fire. It would have been a stupid plan – Goebbels is much to clever to make up such a plan.

Sack was speaking at the trial of Van der Lubbe in 1933. He was paid by the Nazis, and he was trying to prove that Van der Lubbe started the fire on his own.

1.       What kind of person was Van der Lubbe?

2.       How did Van der Lubbe get into the building?

3.       Do you think this was a clever way to get into the building?

4.       Did Van der Lubbe get caught starting the fire?

5.       Do you think this was a clever thing to do?

6.       Some people think that the Nazis chose Van der Lubbe to start the fire. What do you think about this?


7.       Are you trying to prove that the Nazis didn’t start the fire?

8.       Who is paying you to do this?

9.       So, are you biased?

10.   If the Nazis had been trying to get a man to take the blame for starting the fire, who would they have chosen – a clever man who would see what they were up to, or a stupid man who would make a lot of mistakes and get caught?


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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