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Interpretation Paper for the Holocaust, Cambridge A Level History

Guys, I'm struggling with Paper 3, and its not the writing process, its just the interpretations of the causation of the Holocaust - so structuralist, functionalist, intentionalist and synthesis.

It seems like sometimes I have to really zoom in to find the answer (usually when its a synthesis approach), and sometimes I have to make sure NOT to zoom in on individual parts of the extract because it gives me the wrong interpretation. (I'm a Lit student as well so its ingrained to zoom in as much as possible) Plus I feel weak on the main argument as well sometimes, getting it fully correct.

My exam is on Tuesday the 14th of May (so next week), and I have the writing skills required, and the info, but there's no point in that if i don't nail the main message and interpretation. At this point I feel that the easiest would be a purely intentionalist argument to spot - or hopefully a source that doesn't involve causation. I guess I can pray only lol, meanwhile any tips on spotting the interprtation and main message?
Original post by HibHibstheicon
Guys, I'm struggling with Paper 3, and its not the writing process, its just the interpretations of the causation of the Holocaust - so structuralist, functionalist, intentionalist and synthesis.
It seems like sometimes I have to really zoom in to find the answer (usually when its a synthesis approach), and sometimes I have to make sure NOT to zoom in on individual parts of the extract because it gives me the wrong interpretation. (I'm a Lit student as well so its ingrained to zoom in as much as possible) Plus I feel weak on the main argument as well sometimes, getting it fully correct.
My exam is on Tuesday the 14th of May (so next week), and I have the writing skills required, and the info, but there's no point in that if i don't nail the main message and interpretation. At this point I feel that the easiest would be a purely intentionalist argument to spot - or hopefully a source that doesn't involve causation. I guess I can pray only lol, meanwhile any tips on spotting the interprtation and main message?

Okay, despite what your teacher told you, do not get obsessed with labels (structuralist, etc.). The mark scheme explicitly states that candidates "may use..." but it does not say "must use..." Moreover, if you nail the main message (both strands) and the sub-messages and then conclude with the wrong label, you will get knocked down massively. Finally, just do the best you can in identifying both strands of the main message. If you mix up one of the strands with a sub-message, but still analyse the extract very well, you can still get into L5 (28-32/40). Last year, 27/40 was a B and 30/40 was an A. Good luck. I've marked many of these papers and was just on a marking course for this one too.
Original post by McKerrow_History
Okay, despite what your teacher told you, do not get obsessed with labels (structuralist, etc.). The mark scheme explicitly states that candidates "may use..." but it does not say "must use..." Moreover, if you nail the main message (both strands) and the sub-messages and then conclude with the wrong label, you will get knocked down massively. Finally, just do the best you can in identifying both strands of the main message. If you mix up one of the strands with a sub-message, but still analyse the extract very well, you can still get into L5 (28-32/40). Last year, 27/40 was a B and 30/40 was an A. Good luck. I've marked many of these papers and was just on a marking course for this one too.

By any chance, did you see today's history exam? It was quite hard to be honest, and most of our class had different opinions in almost everything. If so, could you suggest what you thought was the main message, and if there was an label? so 9489/32, done today on the 14th. Now into the next one...
Original post by HibHibstheicon
By any chance, did you see today's history exam? It was quite hard to be honest, and most of our class had different opinions in almost everything. If so, could you suggest what you thought was the main message, and if there was an label? so 9489/32, done today on the 14th. Now into the next one...

My students told me about it. CAIE have a new rule whereby teachers can't see the paper for twenty four hours. It sounded like a debate over how complicit were the Germans in the Holocaust or how much did they know. But then one of my students told me there was something on hardcore intentionalism in the final paragraph. I'll look at it tomorrow and then post what I think was the main message and sub-messages. Full disclosure: I get both strands of the main message about 75% of the time.
Okay, do let me know!
Original post by HibHibstheicon
Okay, do let me know!

So I think the two strands of the main message were 1) most Germans knew that the Holocaust was happening as information made its way back to Germany and 2) Germans concluded that this was an intentional policy directed from Berlin.

I was just looking at the scheme of work and I don't think this falls under any of the big historiographical debates directly. I don't think it was a hard extract to unpick; however, the problem with this one is that most candidates are geared to find a structuralist/intentionalist/functionalist/synthesis debate. As a result, I can see a lot of candidates freaking out and then overthinking this one.

It's also a bit of kick in the teeth because thousands of candidates would have worked very hard to learn the debates and then CAIE through a spanner like this at them.

Move on and think about paper four on Friday!
Original post by McKerrow_History
So I think the two strands of the main message were 1) most Germans knew that the Holocaust was happening as information made its way back to Germany and 2) Germans concluded that this was an intentional policy directed from Berlin.
I was just looking at the scheme of work and I don't think this falls under any of the big historiographical debates directly. I don't think it was a hard extract to unpick; however, the problem with this one is that most candidates are geared to find a structuralist/intentionalist/functionalist/synthesis debate. As a result, I can see a lot of candidates freaking out and then overthinking this one.
It's also a bit of kick in the teeth because thousands of candidates would have worked very hard to learn the debates and then CAIE through a spanner like this at them.
Move on and think about paper four on Friday!

That was similar to mine, as I mentioned that the Holocaust was centralised (I phrased it better but now I can't remember) and that German people knew about it. I also said that although it's not specifically about the causation, one could apply a synthesis of intentionalism and functionalism. but mostly about responsibility of the holocaust.
So i guess we are equal enough? Personally, I stand by the view that it was the historian who belived that the holocaust was a centralised initiative, and he kind of just uses the people to drive the point home. And thus the causation parts. But anyway, I've moved on to prep for the next one now. Thank you so much for the help, by the way!!

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