Heroes and Villains

The Self-Deception of Irma Grese

Students will explore the vice of self-deception in civil society in this lesson on civic virtue.  Students will examine the life of Nazi Irma Grese who was an ordinary young woman who joined the Nazis and perpetrated great crimes in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.  Students will analyze a historical narrative, discussion guide, photographs, and other activities to try to understand how an ordinary person could have deceived herself to adopt an ideology of hatred through blind obedience and its consequences.

Founding Principles

Civic Virtue image

Civic Virtue

A set of actions and habits necessary for the safe, effective, and mutually beneficial participation in a society.

Equality image


Every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law.

Individual Responsibility image

Individual Responsibility

Individuals must take care of themselves and their families and be vigilant to preserve their liberty.

Liberty image


Except where authorized by citizens through the Constitution, the government does not have the authority to limit freedom.

Majority Rule / Minority Rights image

Majority Rule / Minority Rights

Laws may be made with the consent of the majority but only to the point where they do not infringe on the inalienable rights of the minority.

Give Feedback

Send us your comments or questions using the form below.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.