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Discussion Guide – August Landmesser’s Courageous Refusal


Discuss the following questions with your partner(s).

  1. When most of us look back at this period in history and at this picture, with whom are we more likely to identify—the people performing the Nazi salute or the individual refusing to salute? In the photograph, what are most of the people doing? From this photograph, what might we infer about which of these people we may actually be most like?
  2. What, if anything, does this photograph tell you about human nature?
  3. What, if anything, does this photograph tell you about the courage as a virtue that benefits society?
  4. Have you ever personally witnessed someone standing up for what he or she knew to be right when no one else was doing so?
    Have you ever stood up for what you knew to be right when you could not see anyone else doing so?
    Thinking of one or both of the questions above, describe the courage this requires.
  5. Why are the virtues of courage and justice especially important for citizens living in a society built on democratic principles?

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