After the war

The difference between what happened at the end of World War One and at the end of World War Two was marked.

After World War One, the victorious allies continued a blockade and then attempted to hold Germany responsible for the costs of the war. Reparations were demanded of Germany to compensate for the economic damage done by the war.

Germany’s economy collapsed between the two wars and people become very angry and disillusioned. This led to conditions that were favourable for the political establishment of Hitler and the Nazi Party.

After World War Two economic aid was given in by the Allies to rebuild German industry and infrastructure and to re-establish a strong government and a strong economy.

I draw a parallel between this action and that of a principal in New Zealand. When she has students in her office who have been fighting, she works through the issues with them. Before they leave her office she leaves them to play a board game that engages them in asking questions of each other.

The aim of the exercise is to let them get to know each other a bit better - to build social capital. The principal has a reason for doing this. Normally after leaving the principal’s office the ‘fight’ would just continue. This way there may be more of a chance that they will refrain from fighting.

She strengthens them as young people by re- establishing the connections after the falling out. The ‘economic aid’ is in the form of skilling them to develop better relationships to overcome conflict. Building the relationship between students is as important as teachers building the relationship with students. This type of strategy gives one way of doing this.

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